A top offensive-minded defenceman for many years in the Soviet Union, Tatarinov was selected in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, however it was another six years before he finally had a chance to play in the National Hockey League. He continued to play in Russia for the Soviet National Team, winning the gold in the World Junior Championships in 1984 and 1986, and he played for many years with Moscow Dynamo. He was also part of the Soviet team that took on the NHL All-Stars in Rendez-vous '87.
He played one season with the Capitals before he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques, and had a very good season on a very bad Nordiques team in 1991–92. His second season with Quebec was limited by injuries. Tatarinov signed with the Boston Bruins prior to the 1993–94 NHL season, and played in just two games for the Bruins before injuries forced him to retire.
Tatarinov played in 161 NHL games and scored 21 goals and 48 assists.