Kulikov Takes The Reins Of Lokomotiv Defense

Florida defender ups his ice time as Yaroslavl splits a pair of weekend KHL tilts.

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov seems to have taken over as Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's top defender.

Kulikov logged a season high 27:49 minutes of ice time in a 2-0 road loss to Barys Astana on Friday. He finished the game with an even rating and four shots on goal.

Dmitry Upper and Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev scored the goals for Barys Astana.

Barys goaltender Vitaly Veremeyev turned aside 27 shots to post the shutout.

Curtis Sanford made 24 saves while taking the loss for Lokomotiv.

In Sunday's game against Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk, Kulikov logged 24:15 minutes of ice, had one shot on goal and finished with an even rating.

Lokomotiv exploded for five goals in the second period to pick up the 6-4 road win which snapped a three game losing streak.

Former Panther forward Niklas Hagman and Emil Galinov each scored twice for Lokomotiv while Artem Anisimov contributed a goal and two assists.