Panthers' Kulikov Has Another Strong Game In Lokomotiv Victory

Florida's young defenseman helped shut down HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in a tight road win that went to the shootout.

Dmitry Kulikov logged 19:04 minutes of ice time, had no shots on goal and finished with an even rating as Lokomotiv Yaroslavl slipped by HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2-1 in a shootout during Monday action from the KHL. Kulikov also received a four minute penalty for high-sticking in the second period. An early slashing call on Lokomotiv’s Yury Petrov led to the game’s first goal. Neftekhimik’s Tomas Netik converted on the power play at the 1:48 mark of the opening period with assists going to Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov and Renat Mamashev. The helper gave Yakupov 11 points in 12 games so far this season. Lokomotiv goalie Semyon Varlamov and Neftekhimik keeper Matt Dalton both denied numerous chances until former Florida Panthers forward Viktor Kozlov fed Niklas Hagman for the tying power play goal with 6:27 remaining in regulation time. After a scoreless overtime, the game headed to the shootout. Emil Galimov staked Lokomotiv to an early advantage, scoring on the opening shot and after two saves from Varlamov, Hagman beat Dalton to end the game. Varlamov was huge for Lokomotiv, finishing with 54 saves in addition to the two stops he made in the shootout. The win was the third in a row for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and moved them back into first place in the Tarasov Division, two points better than CSKA Moscow.