Every day here on Puck Worlds, we'll be providing an update of the various playoff action happening in the European professional leagues. Here's a summary of Wednesday's action:
Kontinental Hockey League (Russia/Latvia)
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5, Dinamo Riga 4 (OT) (Yaroslavl wins series 4-1): The dream is over for Latvia's top pro team, as the top ranked Yaroslavl didn't let being down 4-2 heading into the 3rd period get to them. After going seven games in the first round, they seized their opportunity to end this series quickly, thanks to a pair of third period goals from Alexander Galimov and getting the OT winner from Alexander Kalyanin, who had scored his second of the game and ninth of the playoffs. Indeed, the line of Galimov, Kalyanin and Gennady Churilov had four goals and six assists between them. Lokomotiv currently has the top five scorers in the playoffs, led by Pavol Demitra's seventeen and Josef Vasicek's sixteen points (the two combined for the other Yaroslavl goal).
Atlant Moscow Oblast 3, SKA St. Petersburg 1 (SKA leads series 3-2): The last hope of the Moscow area denied SKA their first chance to reach the conference finals, with Konstantin Barulin having his best game of the series to date, making 26 saves in the win. Jaroslav Obsut scored the winner with 3:59 to play, and Eduard Lewandowski added an empty netter to secure the victory. The two teams will head back to Mytishchi on Friday for Game 6.
Thursday's Games: Metallurg Magnitogorsk @ Avangard Omsk (2:00 PM CET/9:00 AM EST, series tied 2-2); Salavat Yulaev Ufa @ Ak Bars Kazan (5:00 PM CET/12:00 PM EST, Ufa leads series 3-1).
Tipsport Extraliga (Czech Rep.)
HC Slavia Praha 4, Bílí Tygri Liberec 3 (OT) (Prague wins series 4-3): Tomas Svoboda tied the game up with 1:06 left in the third period, and then scored the OT winner at 13:05 to help the seventh seed upset the second seeded White Tigers. Liberec headed into the third period with a 2-0 lead, and then had a 3-1 lead before Slavia mounted a comeback of their own. Liberec had forced a Game 7 after falling behind 3-1 in the series.
HC Slavia Praha will face HC Ocelari Trinec in a semifinal starting on Monday, while HC Viktovice Steel will host HC Eaton Pardubice in the other semifinal, starting on Saturday.Elitserien (Sweden)
Färjestad 4, Brynäs 3 (Färjestad wins series 4-1): Former Saskatoon Blade (had to work that in) Marcus Paulsson scored the winning goal with 24 seconds left in regulation to set up a date with AIK Stockholm in the semifinals. The loss was even more emotionally draining for Brynäs fans, as they had just tied up the game a minute earlier when Magnus Kahnberg after they had pulled their goalie.
Skellefteå 3, Linköping 1 (Skellefteå leads series 3-2): Linköping did a good job keeping the big guns sort of silent again, as Mikko Lehtonen and Joakim Lindström only had an assist each, but it wasn't enough, as Yared Hagos and Anders Söderberg supplied some secondary offence to put Linköping on the ropes. Skellefteå probably has to try and win it all this year: all of their top 3 defensemen are likely heading to the NHL next year (Adam Larsson, David Rundblad, and Tim Erixon). Your token Adam Larsson watch: 21:47 of icetime (second on the team), three shots on goal and an assist.
Djurgården 2, Luleå 0 (Luleå leads series 3-2): Twice now Djurgården has avoided elimination, and they're heading back to Stockholm for a chance to push this series to seven after falling behind 3-0. Mark (in the Park) Owuya made 18 saves for the shutout, while Tim Eriksson scored the winner (the other goal was an empty netter) to extend the series. Check out the hilites below, as you'll see how hockey can be a game of inches... right Simon Hjalmarsson?
Deutsche Eishockey Liga (Germany)
Kölner Haie 4, EHC München 3 (3OT) (Köln leads play-in 1-0): Former Sabres prospect Phillip Gogulla scored the winner at 10:00 of the third overtime, ending the second longest European playoff game this year. The win was made possible by Matt Pettinger scoring the tying goal with only 27 seconds left to play. Shots were 63-51 for Munich, with Danny Aus den Birken making sixty saves for the win. Kölner Haie can advance to the quarterfinals with a road win on Friday.
Adler Mannheim 3, Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers 2 (Mannheim leads play-in 1-0): Goals by Marcus Fink, James Pollock and Niko Dimotrakos paced Adler to the win, as they peppered Ice Tigers goalie Patrick Ehelechner with 41 shots. Ryan Bayda scored with only 10 seconds left to make the score a bit more respectable. The Ice Tigers will head back home to Nuremberg to try and stay alive.
Slovnaft Extraliga (Slovakia)
HC 05 Banská Bystrica 3, HK Poprad 1 (Series Tied at 1): Lukas Hvila had a goal and an assist as Baská Bystrica bounced back after losing on Tuesday 7-5. Miroslav Simonovic made 38 saves to help his team earn a split on the road. The series resumes Saturday and Sunday with games 3 and 4.
Thursday's Game: HC Kosice @ Dukla Trencin (6:00 PM CET/1:00 PM EST, Kosice leads series 2-0)
National League A (Switzerland)
There were no games on Wednesday, but all three series resume tonight.
Thursday's Games: Kloten Flyers @ SC Bern (Kloten leads series 1-0); HC Davos @ EV Zug (Davos leads series 1-0); Rapperswil Lakers @ Ambri-Piotta (Ambri leads series 1-0). All games at 7:45 PM CET/2:45 PM EST.
No games in the SM-Liiga yesterday or today.