(7) Amur Khabarovsk 1
(2) Avangard Omsk 3
Avangard win the series 4-0
Avangard became the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach the second round of the play-offs, wrapping up a clean-sweep of Amur with a 3-1 win in the Far East.
Knowing that the series was there for the taking, Avangard seized control early on with Roman Cervenka maintaining his record of a goal in every play-off game after Alexander Perezhogin opened the scoring. Martin Ruzicka pulled one back for the home side on 21:06, but Yegor Averin ended any prospect of a fight back before the second hooter.
For Amur, playing its first ever KHL play-off series, the defeat brings to an end one of the best seasons in the club’s history. For Avangard, it’s a chance to return home and rest until the start of the next round on March 13.
Battling back again
(8) Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk 3
(1) Traktor Chelyabinsk 6
Traktor lead the series 3-1
For the second day running Traktor recovered to beat Yugra - and Monday’s 6-3 success gives the regular season champions a 3-1 series lead.
Yugra, stunned by a five-goal fightback on Sunday, started strongly once again and raced into a 2-0 lead by 4:49, with Sergei Demagin and Maxim Belyaev doing the damage. But once again Traktor showed its fighting spirit: after Vladimir Antipov pulled on back in the first period, Stanislav Chistov struck twice in 91 seconds to turn the game around.
Antipov weighed in with his second of the game in the last minute of the second period, and that proved to be the winner despite Demagin getting a third period consolation for Yugra. When the teams return to Chelyabinsk on Wednesday, the host will be favorite to join Avangard in the next round.
Underdog bares its teeth
(6) Barys Astana 4
(3) Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1
Barys lead the series 3-1
Barys opened up a 3-1 series lead over Magnika - and is just one game away from dumping its more illustrious rival out of the contest at the first hurdle. A fine 4-1 win in Kazakhstan has pushed Barys to the brink of qualification.
The home side recovered after Magnitka’s Daniil Markov opened the scoring on 10:00, and goals from Dustin Boyd and Konstantin Pushkaryov put Barys in front by 28:37. After that, the visitors could not get back into the game, and the result was put beyond doubt in the closing minutes thanks to goals from Jonas Junland and Kevin Dallman.
The action moves to Magnitogorsk on Wednesday, with the home side knowing it is win-or-bust in the best-of-seven series.
(5) Salavat Yulaev Ufa 0
(4) Ak Bars Kazan 3
Ak Bars lead the series 3-1
The clash between Salavat Yulaev and Ak Bars took top billing on the day - but the on-ice action was dominated by problems around the arena.
The game was twice delayed in the second period. First a broken perspex panel was replaced after a challenge from Oleg Saprykin sent an Ak Bars player’s skate flying into the glass. Then after the teams returned to the ice for an extended "third period" of almost 25 minutes, further technical difficulties at Arena Ufa delayed play for a few minutes more.
However, on the ice, it was Salavat Yulaev who suffered the greater problems, going down to a 3-0 defeat which leaves Ak Bars 3-1 ahead in the series and close to booking a place in the next phase. Artyom Lukoyanov opened the scoring on 9:02, the first play-off goal for the 23-year-old, and Josef Straka doubled the advantage during the confusion of the second period. Alexei Morozov completed the scoring with an empty-netter in the final minute as the game finally ended almost an hour later than scheduled.