Ak Bars and Dynamo Moscow became the latest teams to confirm their post-season commitments after shut-out wins on Thursday evening.
Ak Bars went first, facing off against old rival Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Kazan. The first period was scoreless, but only thanks to a virtuoso goaltending display from Vasily Koshechkin, who made 23 saves as the home team dominated from the off.
Mikhail Varnakov finally found a way past the keeper in the 27th minute, but the game remained in the balance until early in the third when Petr Vrana and Justin Azevedo scored two goals in a minute to put Ak Bars out of sight. Anders Nilsson made 24 saves for his shut-out.
In Moscow Dynamo weathered a tough first period at home to Neftekhimik before taking a 2-0 verdict. Maxim Solovyov finally put the home team in front just after the halfway mark and Kaspars Daugavins scored a late goal for the second game running. Goalie Alexander Lazushin made 35 saves to claim his second shut-out in three games.
SKA sink ...