A hat-trick from Vyacheslav Ushenin gave Tigers fans something to cheer as their season came to an end. Back-to-back defeats against Neftekhimik ended Amur’s playoff hopes, while Barys came into the game knowing that the Chernyshev Division title was secure.
The home team had greater motivation. Barys rested several key players ahead of its upcoming playoff showdown against Metallurg, while Amur was determined to end on a high note despite missing post season. And Ushenin, in particular, was out to show what he could do. He scored twice in the first period, the goals coming just 102 seconds apart. Then he completed his hat-trick in the last minute. Further third-period goals from Tomas Zohorna and Michal Jordan gave the final score an emphatic look. Home goalie Evgeny Alikin had a good game, making 31 saves to record his seventh shut-out of the season.
Neftekhimik battled to the last in the regular season to snatch the eighth playoff spot in the East, and those comeback qualities served the team well in its final game before post season. Admiral, meanwhile, failed to collect the point it needed to condemn Traktor to last place in the conference and must wait until tomorrow’s games to learn if it has escaped the basement.
The home team made a good start, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Nikita Korostelyov opened the scoring in the third minute, claiming his fourth goal since stepping up from the VHL. Martin Bakos extended the lead on the power play late in the opening session.
Even at the time, though, Neftekhimik had grounds for quiet confidence. The visitor outshot Admiral 9-3 in that first frame and looked capable of getting back into contention. Jonas Enlund pulled one back in the 27th minute as his team continued to enjoy the better of the game. The third period saw an early goal from Pavel Poryadin tie the scores before Marat Khairullin got the winner in the 57th minute.
Sibir battled back from 0-2 to win this game thanks to a strong third-period performance. Nikolai Zavarukhin’s team advances to the playoffs on the back of a second successive victory, while Dinamo finishes the season in second from last place in the overall KHL standings.
The visitor had won on this ice two days earlier when it overcame Kunlun Red Star in a game relocated away from China. Carter Ashton was on the scoresheet in that encounter, and he opened the scoring here midway through the first period. Ben Marshall increased the lead at the start of the second, but that was the high point of the day for the Latvians.
Mikael Ruohomaa pulled a goal back midway through the game, but the fightback got underway in earnest in the final stanza. Igor Makarov and Alexander Sharov struck on either side of the 50-minute mark to turn the game around before Danil Romantsev sealed the verdict with five minutes to play.