Alexander Salak made his debut for Dinamo Riga but the experienced Czech suffered a miserable start to his career in Latvia, ending on the wrong end of a seven-goal drubbing. The new arrival had been without a club since leaving Lokomotiv in the summer and he found himself pitched into action against an Avangard team with an impressive offense starting to find its form. As a result, the 32-year-old stayed in for the full game, but ended allowing seven goals from 33 shots.
The visitor, meanwhile, saw some eye-catching performances from its forwards. Taylor Beck and Slava Voynov both had a hat-trick of assists, Sven Andrighetto and Sergei Shumakov both scored two goals and there was a first goal of the season for Nikita Shcherbak in his most assured performance since returning to Russia in the summer. The 23-year-old was the architect of his first KHL goal, producing a sublime no-look pass to set Voynov on the charge then moving to the back door to convert the defenseman’s return pass for the 5-0 play. He also had a helper as Kirill Semyonov completed the rout with the second of two power play goals in the 54th minute.
The result keeps Avangard on top of the Chernyshev Division while Bob Hartley’s team moves onto 39 goals from 12 games, the third most prolific in the KHL. For Dinamo, though, it’s a very different story. With 47 goals allowed, the Latvians have by some margin the most porous defense in the competition. Moreover, Girts Ankipans’ team has not scored in its last three games and has managed just 16 all season – another unwanted record in this year’s tournament.