(Lokomotiv leads the series 2-0)
On Saturday, Lokomotiv began its playoff campaign by coming from behind to defeat Torpedo. On Sunday, Lokomotiv continued its playoff campaign by … coming from behind to defeat Torpedo. However, the Railwaymen’s journey to their winning destination was rather different this time.
Saturday’s game was settled midway through the second period with two quick goals to cancel out Torpedo’s first-period opener. Today, Loko had to wait until the 59th minute before snatching the win. Last time, it was youth – in the form of Artyom Ilyenko, missing today through injury – that played the starring role; today, it was experience. Staffan Kronwall’s shot was turned in by Petri Kontiola, sparking jubilant celebrations among the home faithful and leaving Torpedo down in a series where it has more or less matched its opponent.
This time, Torpedo got off to a fine start. Sergei Kostitsyn didn’t have much on when he collected the puck from Geoff Kinrade, but as he advanced into Loko territory the defense made little effort to close him down. Invited to shoot, he did just that, and surprised Alexei Murygin by finding the corner of the net. The Lokomotiv goalie did not let it get to him, though, and pulled off a fantastic save moments later to deny Evgeny Grachyov a second goal for the visitor, and steadily Loko came into the contest.
Nikita Cherepanov tied the scores in the 10th minute, firing home from the point as Vladislav Kartayev and Georgy Ivanov put up a screen in front of Stanislav Galimov. Then Torpedo’s Stepan Zakharchuk was ejected from the game for a high hit on Pavel Koledov, a moment that echoed the clash between Grigory Zheldakov and Yegor Korshkov in the previous game.
Torpedo survived that PK but found itself under pressure for much of the second period, despite a string of penalties against Lokomotiv. Only in the final frame did the game even out, but Kontiola’s late touch settled the matter in the home team’s favor.