Traktor bounced back from a game one loss to tie this Eastern semi-final with a comfortable home win. Tomas Hyka had three assists as the home team made sure the series was even before the action moves to Ufa on Monday.

Traktor Chelyabinsk 4 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 (0-0, 2-1, 2-0)

(Series tied at 1-1)

The teams produced a low-scoring encounter on Thursday and the first period of this game continued in similar fashion. There were few clear-cut chances in the first period, with Salavat Yulaev twice struggling to generate much offense on the power play. At the first intermission, the two teams had mustered just 13 shots on target between them.

Traktor took control of the game with two goals in the 25th minute. Stepan Sannikov, scorer of the only goal of the opening game of the series, took a penalty early in the second period and the home team took advantage of its first power play of the day. Alexei Byvaltsev was the scorer, firing home Vladimir Tkachyov’s feed to beat Alexander Sharychenkov from the center of the zone.

Almost immediately, Ufa fouled again and Alexander Kadeikin went to the box for handling the puck. Once again, the Traktor power play did its thing. Tomas Hyka’s shot bounced into the path of Vitaly Kravtsov, who underlined his status as a playoff specialist with yet another post season goal. Kravtsov’s first career goal came in the 2016 playoffs, and he moves on to 22 (12+10) points in 37 post season appearances, a strike rate of 0.59 per game. In regular season action, he has 67 (36+31) points in 167 games, for a strike rate of 0.4.

Traktor’s position of comfort was quickly eroded, however. Late in the middle frame, a penalty on Albert Yarullin saw Salavat Yulaev score five seconds into the power play. Alexander Kadeikin won the face-off, the puck went back to the blue line and Dinar Khafizullin stepped up from the point to smash a shot past the unsighted Roman Will.

At the start of the third period, then, Salavat Yulaev seemed well placed to battle back into the game. However, the Traktor defense was impressive and, in a game dominated by battles for possession, the visitor struggled to test Will further. By the 50-minute mark, the home team enjoyed a 31-13 advantage on the shot count and even an Ufa power play soon afterwards failed to make significant inroads on the Chelyabinsk defense.

The visitor thought it had another penalty when Nick Bailen was called for hooking, but Grigory Panin also sat for embellishment and with the teams playing four-on-four, Traktor extended its lead. Danil Bashkirov coughed up the puck on his blue line and Hyka went on to send his compatriot Lukas Sedlak through the middle to beat Sharychenkov with a wrist shot. With three minutes to play, the goalie went to the bench but there would be no rousing fightback. Instead, Hyka found Nikita Tertyshny for an empty-net goal that ended any questions about the final outcome.

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Related clubs

Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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