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Val Watch: A scratch and a game-winning goal

It was an up and down week for forward Valeri Nichushkin in the KHL. Nichushkin, who is playing a second straight season in Russia but is expected to return to the Stars in 2018-19, dressed for one of two games for CSKA.

On Wednesday, he was not in the lineup, and it was listed as a coach’s decision. He was back in the lineup Friday as CSKA took on HC Dynamo Moscow. Nichushkin played on the fourth line according to the lineup card and only logged 12:57 of ice time, but he did have an impact. He scored the game-winning goal and had a season-high shots on goal in a 3-1 victory. He scored from close range off the rush to give CSKA a 2-1 lead in the third period.

After the game, Nichushkin was asked about CSKA apparently rotating players in and out of the lineup which has led to him sitting out two of the team’s first eight games.

“Hard question. I always want to play more, but in general everything is fine,” Nichushkin said according to a Google translation of a Sport-Express transcript.

Nichushkin has two goals in six games and is averaging 15:45 of ice time for CSKA which has won seven of its first eight games.

Here’s Nichushkin’s game log.

8/25 (DNP)-------
9/5 (DNP)-------
Games Played: 620200715:45