The Kontinental Hockey League playoffs continued last night, showcasing all eight match-ups. The puck was dropped on the Eastern Conference competition while the West sides played Game Two.
(1) Traktor vs. (8) Yugra
Traktor lead series 1-0
Despite playing without top goal scorer Evgeny Kuznetsov, Traktor proved to be too much for playoff rookies Yugra in Game One. After a scoreless first period, Vladimir Antipov put top-seeded Traktor ahead with a power play goal. Yugra’s Evgeny Khvostov earned a power play goal of his own, this one on a two-man advantage to even the score in the second period. However, Traktor tallied two more unanswered goals for the 3-1 victory.
(2) Avangard vs. (7) Amur Khabarovsk
Avangard lead series 1-0
Avangard scored early and often in their 4-2 win over playoff first-timers Amur. Three first period goals, including two within one minute of action proved to be the difference in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might suggest. Former New Jersey Devil Anssi Salmela scored one of the first period goals for Avangard. Dmitry Shitikov scored both goals for Amur.
(3) Metallurg vs. (6) Barys
Metallurg lead series 1-0
Metallurg Goaltender Ari Ahonen made 34 saves and turned away a series of chances in the final seconds to preserve a 3-2 win in Magnitogorsk. Maxim Sushinsky and Anton But both scored for Metallurg in the second period. Kamil Kreps trimmed the deficit to just one for Barys with six minutes left. However, their furious effort to force overtime expired with the clock.
(4) Ak Bars vs. (5) Salavat Yulaev
Salavat Yulaev lead series 1-0
In a battle of the only two Gagarin Cup winners, Salavat Yulaev became the first road team win in the playoffs thus far, shutting out Ak Bars 3-0. Regular season point champion Alexander Radulov assisted on each of Salavat’s three goals. Goalie Erik Ersberg made 27 shots in the shutout.
(1) SKA vs. (8) CSKA
SKA lead series 2-0
It did not take long for SKA to put this game away. Just over two minutes into the contest, the army men from St. Petersburg were up 2-0 with goals from Petr Prucha and Fyodor Fedorov. SKA would add five more, including a second score from Fedorov in the 7-1 drubbing. CSKA goalkeeper Ratislav Stana was pulled after the first two goals, though his relief did not fair much better as Sergei Gaiduchenko allowed a handful of shots to get by.
(2) Torpedo vs. (7) Dynamo Riga
Series tied 1-1
After hanging seven goals on Dynamo Riga in Game One, Torpedo could muster just one allowing Riga to get revenge with a 2-1 overtime win. Mikelis Redlihs will get credit for the win as it was his goal nearly five minutes into the extra session that won the game. However, moments earlier teammate and goalie Chris Holt preserved the tie score as he turned aside Mikhail Varnakov’s penalty shot. With the series tied at a game apiece, the action turns to Riga.
(3) Dynamo Moscow vs. (6) Dynamo Minsk
Dynamo Moscow lead series 2-0
Two was the lucky number for Dynamo Moscow as it double-dipped fellow namesake Dynamo Minsk with 2-0 victory in Game Two Thursday night. The win also gives Moscow a 2-0 lead in the series as it moves to Belarus. Mikhail Anisin celebrated his 24th birthday by scoring the only two goals of the game. Both goals were scored in the second period.
(4) Atlant vs. (5) Severstal
Atlant lead series 2-0
After avoiding overtime with a late goal a night earlier, Atlant pushed three goals across in Game Two, winning 3-1. Behind early, Atlant rallied in the second to tie the score then just 27 seconds into the final period the home team went up for good. Jonas Andersson added a empty netter in the closing minute to give Atlant a 2-0 lead in the series as it shifts to Severstal’s home ice.