(3) Dynamo Moscow 2
(6) Dinamo Minsk 0
Dynamo lead the series 2-0
Mikhail Anisin enjoyed the perfect birthday - his double for Dynamo Moscow fired the team to a win over Dinamo Minsk, and a 2-0 advantage in the series.
Anisin got his first play-off goal for the club shortly after the midway point, beating Lars Haugen at his near post after Denis Kokarev’s pass picked him out. As "Happy Birthday" rang out around the stadium, Anisin soon made it two: a penalty against Minsk was converted within seconds, sweeping home a shot from the right-hand circle.
A memorable 24th birthday might have been even better 11 seconds from time, but after firing into an empty net Anisin was denied a hat-trick after being ruled offside in the build-up to the goal. Even so, a comfortable win on the night gave Dynamo a clear advantage before the action moves to Belarus on Saturday.
Gone in a flash
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 7
(8) CSKA Moscow 1
SKA lead the series 2-0
SKA wasted no time in taking command of Game 2 - with just 130 seconds played, the home side was 2-0 in front and CSKA goaltender Rastislav Stana was heading back to the bench to recover.
Sadly for the Moscow club, that didn’t help much: Yury Butsayev pulled one goal back, but replacement goalie Sergei Gaiduchenko was destined to endure an evening as long as his colleague’s had been short as SKA ran out 7-1 winners.
Fyodor Fedorov led the way with two goals, including the game winner, while Vladimir Tarasenko got his second goal in successive play-off games. Kirill Koltsov also had a good night, finishing with 1+3. Shell-shocked CSKA have a day off to recover before the action moves to Moscow on Saturday.
Riga battles back
(2) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 1
(7) Dinamo Riga 2 OT
Series tied 1-1
CSKA might draw inspiration from Dinamo Riga, which recovered from conceding seven against Torpedo to tie the series with an overtime win in Nizhy Novgorod. Mikelis Redlihs got the decisive goal on 64:52, converting a one-on-one against Vitaly Koval to end the game.
But it was Riga’s goalie Chris Holt who saved his team from defeat moments earlier when he saved a penalty shot from Mikhail Varnakov. Varnakov, who hit a hat-trick in yesterday’s rout, had been fouled by Krisjanis Redlihs but spurned the opportunity to settle the game on 62:36.
Earlier Vladimir Galuzin had given Torpedo the lead in the second period, only for Janis Sprukts to equalize on 55:49 after the visitors had laid siege to the Torpedo goal for long periods. The action moves to Latvia on Saturday with the series finely poised.
Atlant in control
(4) Atlant Moscow Region 3
(5) Severstal Cherepovets 1
Atlant lead the series 2-0
Atlant took a 2-0 lead in its series against Severstal, coming from behind to win 3-1. Vadim Shipachyov put Severstal in front on 13:53 - the team’s first goal in Mytishchi after two shut-outs on the last two visits, but Atlant was not to be denied.
Ilya Kablukov leveled it up early in the second, and 27 seconds into the third session Andrei Zubarev put the hosts in front. After the last-minute drama of Wednesday’s game, Severstal had grounds to hope for another late show, but once again the 60th minute saw Atlant score. Jonas Andersson landed an empty-netter to complete the win and give last year’s runner-up a commanding advantage in its current play-off series.