Andy Potts,
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Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 (1-0, 1-1, 0-2)

(Metallurg leads the series 1-0)

The playoffs just wouldn’t be the same without Sergei Mozyakin. The Metallurg captain has carved his name indelibly into the highlights of post-season, and this 10th year of KHL playoff action is already no exception. This was not always a vintage Metallurg performance, but the outcome went the way of the Magnitogorsk team thanks to the ever-sparkling Mozyakin.

Photo: 04.03.18. KHL Championship 2017/18. Playoffs. Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

He got the winner with seven-and-a-half minutes left on the clock, firing in a shot that Jakub Kovar could only pad away to his brother, Metallurg forward Jan. The forward whipped the puck to the far post where Mozyakin, advancing to the back door, deflected it into the net. Avtomobilist, which had led 2-0, was furious: Nikita Tryamkin angrily gestured to his foot, claiming that Mozyakin had sidefooted the puck home like a footballer; the video review found otherwise and the goal stood. Mozyakin is now one shy of 500 career goals and another unprecedented milestone in Russian hockey history.

Magnitka’s recovery was not all about Mozyakin, though. Wojtek Wolski led the charge with two goals to tie the game. His first, on the power play late in the middle frame, was a one-timer off a delightful Mozyakin feed from face-off spot to face-off spot. The second, again on the PP, came from a tight angle after Kovar and Chris Lee fed the puck around the Avtomobilist zone.

Earlier, though, things were much brighter for Avtomobilist. The Yekaterinburg team has yet to win a KHL playoff series, but this season, for the first time, it comes into post-season as a seeded team. And home advantage paid off in the early exchanges when Dwight King and Francis Pare exchanged passes before the former Magnitka man fired his current employer in front. Pare was involved again as Avto made it 2-0. Another counter attack saw the Canadian feed Anatoly Golyshev for a wrist shot to double the host’s lead.

Andy Potts,
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Related clubs

Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
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