Andy Potts,
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Lokomotiv Yaroslav 2 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 1 (0-1, 2-0, 0-0)

(Lokomotiv leads the series 1-0)

The opening exchanges were lively. An early Loko power play gave Jakub Nakladal the chance to test out Stanislav Galimov, before Kaspars Daugavins fired in a powerful effort at the other end. The clearest opening fell to Lokomotiv’s Brandon Kozun, who found himself one-on-one with Galimov but put his shot over the bar.

Photo: 03.03.18. KHL Championship 2017/18. Playoffs. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)

Torpedo punished Kozun’s miss within seconds. Kaspars Daugavins twice fired shots into traffic; the first came back to him, but the second was touched home by Mikhail Zhukov to open the scoring. That lead endured until the first intermission.

The tying goal came on the power play, six minutes into the middle frame. With Gennady Stolyarov sitting out a double minor, Loko had already put together some promising play when Andrei Loktionov found the net. Yegor Averin had the patience to build the play, Denis Mosalyov picked out the vital pass and Loktionov fired into the unguarded corner of Galimov’s net.

Stolyarov had just served another penalty when Lokomotiv went in front late in the second period. Georgy Ivanov’s rush took him behind the Torpedo net, from where he found Nikolai Kovalenko on the slot. The 18-year-old, making his playoff debut after just two KHL outings, battled hard under pressure from the visiting defense, and when the puck squirted out to Artyom Ilyenko, the finish was emphatic.

The third period began with a brawl: Grigory Zheldakov’s high hit on Yegor Korshkov drew an angry response from the Lokomotiv players and a four-man fight ensued. Once the dust had settled, Zheldakov had Tomas Kundratek for company in the penalty box, while Loko’s Daniil Apalkov and Pavel Koledov were sent to cool their heels. The remainder of the game saw Torpedo pushing for a tying goal, but failing to put significant pressure on Alexei Murygin’s net as Lokomotiv saw out the victory.

However, with the next game in the series due in just 24 hours, game-winner Ilyenko may face a race to recover. He was helped from the ice in the third period after twice blocking shots from Denis Barantsev.

Andy Potts,
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Related clubs

Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
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