MOSCOW, December 9 (R-Sport) – Dynamo Minsk's lockout signing from the San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski grabbed two assists in a 2-1 home victory over Dinamo Riga on Sunday.
The win helped the Belarusian team close in on the playoff zone in the Western Conference. It sits in tenth place, trailing KHL newcomer Donbass Donetsk, current occupier of the final playoff place in eighth, by five points.
The Latvians languish in 13th in the West.
Finnish wing Teemu Laine put the hosts in the lead with an early goal, converting Pavelski’s pass, before Andris Dzerins equalized ten minutes later with a beautiful wrist shot.
Soon after the first break, Pavelski helped Czech forward Zbynek Irgl score the winning goal on a neat combination play.
Dynamo's goaltender Pekka Rinne, signed from the Nashville Predators made 26 saves to frustrate Riga's attempts to level the score a second time.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.