MOSCOW, November 5 (R-Sport) – Former Winnipeg Jets forward Tim Stapleton helped Dynamo Minsk to a 2-0 victory at Dinamo Riga that put the team in the Western Conference playoffs zone.
The Belarusian team is now eighth, while the Latvians are second from the bottom with eight wins from 24 games.
Riga coach Pekka Rautakallio praised performance of the visitors’ lockout signing goaltender Pekka Rinne who saved 27 shots Sunday for his first shutout of the season.
“We couldn’t take our chances in front of the opponents’ goal because all our shots were stopped by Pekka Rinne,” Rautakallio said. “Dynamo Minsk played really well.”
Alexander Kitarov opened the scoring on nine minutes, racing first to the rebound after a powerful slap shot by Czech defenseman Lukas Krajicek.
Stapleton sealed the victory with a wrist shot in the second period that took his season points haul to 18.
Dynamo Minsk has won five out of eight matches since Kari Heikkila was dismissed from his post last month. The team is yet to replace him, with assistant coach Alexander Andrievsky filling in for the time being.
It was the last game before the KHL takes the first of three 10-day breaks in the regular season.