ASTANA – The last week of 2015 and the first one of 2016 saw the Barys Astana hockey club winning five out of its six encounters in the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).
First, the Kazakh team crushed Metallurg Novokuznetsk in an away game, 6-2. This was followed by an equally resounding defeat of 1-5 in Novosibirsk at the hands of local Sibir.
Returning to Astana, the hosts managed an impressive four straight wins, first against Severstal Cherepovets (4-3 in overtime), the league’s current leaders, the legendary CSKA Moscow (4-3) on New Year’s Eve, and then against Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk (3-2 in penalty shootouts) and Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (4-3). The last win was arguably the most important one since the visiting team is Astana’s key rival for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, which guarantees a spot in the playoffs.
This week, Barys plays away, and on Monday they started with a confident win against Lada Togliatti 4-1.
All these victories helped Barys Astana break into the playoff zone, where they are now placed seventh in the Eastern Conference.
The season’s 50th game (out of 60) for the Astana team will be played today in Yaroslavl against Lokomotiv.