Gagarin Cup holder Salavat Yulaev Ufa is out of the KHL playoffs in the first round after a 3-2 home loss to Ak Bars Kazan sealed a 4-2 series defeat Friday.
In the day’s other game, Sergey Mozyakin was the hero as Metallurg Magnitogorsk earned a second overtime victory in a row against Barys Kazan to level the series at 3-3 ahead of a decider Sunday.
Ak Bars struck early in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead by ten minutes with goals from Evgeny Bodrov and Kirill Petrov.
Salavat Yulaev responded in the second period, as former Nashville Predators wing Antti Pihlstrom struck first before Andrey Taratukhin brought the Ufa team level.
Salavat Yulaev dominated throughout, registering 47 shots on target to Ak Bars’ 28, but it was the 2009 and 2010 champion who took the win, when defenseman Konstantin Korneyev scored in the third period with an assist from ex-Phoenix Coyotes center Niko Kapanen.
In Magnitogorsk, Barys challenged Metallurg throughout a tight game, and briefly held a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Talgat Zhailauov and Andrew Hutchinson before Pavel Zdunov struck back for Metallurg.
Maxim Sushinsky leveled the scores with a penalty shot on 36 minutes after Alexey Litvinenko was penalized for tripping.
With five minutes left on the clock in the third period, Metallurg took the lead for the first time with a goal from Anton But, only for Andrey Gavrilin to respond with a goal for Barys little more than a minute later.
With only 1.54 of overtime played, Mozyakin scored with both teams down a man for roughing.
Metallurg will face Barys on home ice Sunday, hoping to complete a dramatic comeback series win.