(Ak Bars leads the series 2-1)
Amur recorded its first ever victory in a KHL playoff game, reigniting its series with Ak Bars thanks to an impressive performance from its power play.
After falling behind early on, the host recovered in the second period with two power play goals. At the start of the third, the home PP made it 3-1 and the game was as good as won. And, having lost twice in Kazan at the start of the series, Amur is now right back in contention – with the chance to tie things up tomorrow when game four takes place in Khabarovsk.
On the travel day, the teams faced the longest journey of any playoff pair, about 5,500km as the crow flies, and it was Amur that looked to be feeling the effects of that trip early on. Vladimir Tkachyov opened the scoring in the fifth minute, gobbling up the rebound after Juha Metsola padded away a shot from Stanislav Galiyev. Ak Bars continued to have the better of the first frame: if the shot count was close, the visitor spent far more time on the attack in the opening exchanges.
The middle frame changed all that. A string of penalties disrupted both teams, and Amur took advantage to tie the scores early in the second period, converting a power play chance within seconds. Bogdan Potekhin won the face-off and the Ushenin twins combined to create a shooting lane for Vladislav to level it up. And when Nikita Lyamkin took a double minor for high sticks late in the session, he ended up punished twice by Vyacheslav Litovchenko. First, Litovchenko got in front of Emil Garipov to touch home a Maxim Kondratyev shot on 39:52. With Lyamkin still serving his second penalty, the forward repeated the trick seconds into the final frame: Kondratyev from the point, Litovchenko on the doorstep – 3-1 to Amur.
Ak Bars struggled to generate chances to get back into the game, and the outcome was wrapped up in the closing minutes when Vyacheslav Ushenin joined his brother on the scoresheet. Released on the counter by Michal Jordan, Ushenin got past Andrei Markov and finished the play himself to put Amur right back into the series.