Andy Potts Andy Potts
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It didn’t take long for the 2022 Gagarin Cup playoffs to produce their first shock result: game one of the series between top seed Metallurg and outsider Barys saw the Kazakh team grab a road win against the team that topped the regular season table.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2 Barys Nur-Sultan 3 (0-0, 0-1, 2-2)

(Barys leads the series 1-0)

This game was something of a smash-and-grab raid, with Barys goalie Joni Ortio facing 40 shots and stopping 38 of them. At the other end, his team-mates scored three goals on 17 shots at Finnish Olympian Juho Olkinuora to snatch a vital advantage at the start of the series.

While it’s impossible to win or lose a playoff series in the first period of game one, neither team was taking any chances in the opening exchanges here. Caution was the watchword, and the shot count at 20 minutes was a decidedly modest 5-5. Metallurg had the best chance to change the situation, getting a double power play for more than 90 seconds in the 15th minute. However, apart from two efforts from Linus Hultstrom, both dealt with by Ortio, the home team created relatively little.

Everything changed at the start of the second period when Tomas Jurco opened the scoring. It started with an error from Artyom Zemchyonok, whose attempt to fire the puck back to the Barys net was intercepted by Cody Kunyk. The Canadian forward quickly released Jurco into the space vacated by the now out-of-position Zemchyonok and went clean through to beat Olkinuora.

Subsequently, Metallurg had the better of the play but was unable to take its chances with Ortio on top in the battle of the Finnish goalies. Even a couple more power play chances could not open up a path to the Barys goal as the visitor took a slender lead into the third frame.

And things got even better for the Kazakhs at the start of that session when Jakob Lilja doubled the lead. Another glitch on the blue line cost Metallurg possession and Barys launched a two-on-two counter attack which saw the Swede seize the initiative and surge down the left-hand channel to finish the play himself.

After that, the Metallurg power play finally got into gear. Brendan Leipsic’s stretch pass created a great chance for Nikolai Goldobin, saved by Ortio. Then came the first home goal of the evening. Grigory Dronov fired the puck to the net and after a deflection it dropped onto Linus Videll’s stick. Videll, making his Metallurg debut after joining the team late in the regular season, found himself up against one of his former clubs and sent a reminder to his old colleagues when he fired in a shot from a tight angle.

Within 30 seconds, though, a penalty on Yegor Yakovlev presented Barys with a chance to rebuild its lead. And, once again, the power play was converted. Jurco, fresh from helping Slovakia win its historic bronze medal in Beijing, was the scorer once again with Kunyk collecting his second helper of the game.

Metallurg wasn’t done: Goldobin, denied earlier in the frame, made no mistake when he forced a turnover on the blue line, got away from Olle Alsing and outwitted Ortio to make it a one-goal game with seven-and-a-half minutes to play. But home hopes of a late revival were stymied when Andrei Chibisov took a penalty, costing two crucial minutes of his team’s time on the attack.

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Andy Potts Andy Potts
exclusive for khl.ru

Related clubs

Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
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