Western Conference semi-finals, Day 2
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 7
(4) Atlant Moscow Region 1
SKA lead the series 2-0
SKA rapped out a warning to its Gagarin Cup rivals with another convincing win over Atlant. And it took less than four minutes for the home side to effectively settle the game, racing into a 3-0 lead by 3:59 before cruising to a 7-1 success.
Vladimir Tarasenko has picked up points in six of his seven play-off games to date, and he led the way once again with a hat-trick, including two of that opening treble. Igor Makarov and Tony Martensson also got among the goals, before Branko Radivojevic took advantage of a 5v3 to score on Jakub Stepanek and end his sequence of 164 minutes without conceding a goal. SKA still had the last word, though, thanks to Andrei Pervyshin and Tarasenko’s third.
The action now switches to Mytishchi, where Atlant will hope to find a way through SKA’s imposing defense and make in-roads into a 0-2 series deficit.
Torpedo ties it up
(2) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 3 OT
(3) Dynamo Moscow 2
Series tied 1-1
If the series in St. Petersburg is in danger of becoming one-sided, the tussle between Torpedo and Dynamo looks set to be an epic tussle. It took overtime to separate the two on Thursday, as Torpedo tied the series with a 3-2 win.
The decisive goal was credited to Vladimir Galuzin on 68:16, but his effort owed much to a wicked deflection off a Dynamo skate on its way into the goal.
Mikhail Anisin got his fifth goal of the play-offs - a fine solo effort - to give Dynamo an early lead, but in a game interrupted by regular penalty calls Torpedo struck back through Juuso Hietanen’s well-placed effort on a 5v3 powerplay. Early in the second period another powerplay saw Alexander Yevseyenkov’s blue-liner open his play-off account and put Torpedo 2-1 up, but after a long two-man advantage of its own Dynamo leveled on 32:12 when Dominik Granak reacted first to a loose puck close to goal.
The sides rejoin battle in Moscow on Saturday with everything to play for in the series.