Traktor closed to within two points of a playoff place thanks to a hard-fought victory at home to Dinamo Riga.
For the Latvians, however, fresh from the KHL World Games in Zurich, this was a missed opportunity to gain some breathing space in a tight battle for the top eight in the Western Conference. Dinamo remains in eighth place, but is level on points with Vityaz and three behind Dynamo Moscow in seventh.
The only goal in this game arrived in the 52nd minute. Traktor’s fourth line, which had been effective all through the game, combined once again. Marsel Sholokhov’s shot was deflected into the net by Alexander Sharov and, after a video review confirmed the play was good, that proved sufficient to win the game. Vasily Demchenko had 24 saves to record his second shut-out of the season.