(8) Lokomotiv 6
(1) Dynamo Moscow 0
Series tied at 3-3
Lokomotiv found the ‘ex’-factor to thrash Dynamo and take this series to a game seven showdown in Moscow on Monday evening.
Both men won the Gagarin Cup in Blue-and-White before returning to their home-town club in the summer – and the pair delivered in style to save Lokomotiv in this series.
Gorokhov got the opener on a power play late in the first period; Janis Sprukts played an unexpected diagonal pass back to the point, and the defenseman slapped home his first goal of the series with just 12 seconds to go before the interval.
Sergei Plotnikov doubled the lead on the halfway mark, rounding the net before placing a wrist shot beyond Alexander Yeryomenko, before Konkov got his first of the evening in masterful fashion. The forward overpowered his marker before sliding the puck through the five-hole to put Loko in complete control.
Yeryomenko’s unhappy evening came to an end early in the third after Alexander Chernikov’s elegant short-handed goal, but young Alexander Sharychenkov fared little better. Chernikov got his second before Konkov matched that feat to complete the scoring in the 52nd minute.
For Dynamo this kind of play-off drubbing is a long way from the standards set in recent seasons. For head coach Oleg Znarok, however, it’s not the first time he’s suffered a heavy play-off defeat in Yaroslavl. Back in 2010 his MVD team went down 1-6 here but still took the Western Conference final 4-3. However, on that occasion Loko followed up its big win with 4-0 success in Balashikha; this team Znarok and Dynamo have no room for error if they are to prolong their defense of the Gagarin Cup.
(5) Dinamo Riga 2
(4) Donbass 1
Series tied at 3-3
Dinamo Riga recovered from Maxim Yakutsenya’s goal early in the second period to take this series to a winner-takes-all showdown in Donetsk on Monday.But the Latvians absorbed a huge amount of pressure to snatch a narrow victory in a game where they were comprehensively outshot by Donbass. Jakub Sedlacek made 42 Saves, while Dinamo’smustered just 12 shots on Michael Leighton’s goal.
Donbass came into the game knowing that victory would secure progress to the Conference semi-final and after a scoreless opening session Yakutsenya scored on the wraparound five minutes after the intermission.
But that was the cue for Dinamo to hit back, with Lauris Darzins tying it up on the half-hour with a close-range one-timer. Then Andris Dzerins put the home side up 2-1, aided by a deflection of Peter Podhradsky’s stick which lifted his shot into the top corner.
The overall pattern of the game changed little, though: Donbass continued to have more shots in the final session, but could not find a way past Sedlacek.