It was a lighter Monday schedule from what we've come to expect, with most of the action in the SM-Liiga, but one big game in the KHL.
HIFK 2, Jokerit 1 (Jokerit leads series 2-1): Mikael Granlund returned from injury after missing Game 2, and while he didn't hit the scoresheet, he played 21:34 so no ill signs there. Long time Finnish national team member Ville Peltonen scored twice as HIFK striked back in this Helsinki derby. Juuso Riksman made 25 saves for the win.
Espoo Blues 2, Ässät (Pori) 1 (Espoo leads series 3-0): Down 2-0, the Aces benched 17 year old winger Joel Armia and it didn't help their offensive woes. Blueliner Oskari Korpikari continued his strong playoffs for the surprising Blues, scoring the winning goal. The normally defensive defenseman now has five points in six playoff games. Espoo can complete the sweep at home on Wednesday.
Lukko (Rauma) 2, KalPa (Kuopio) 1 (KalPa leads series 2-1): Czech winger Jakub Petruzalek scored twice to help Rauma get back in this series. Mika Noronen made 24 saves for the win.
JYP 4, Ilves 3 (Jyvaskyla leads series 3-0): Jonne Virtanen had a goal and an assist to lead regular season leaders JYP to their third straight victory over the outmatched team from Tampere. Pasi Määttänen scored twice in reply for Ilves. All series resume tomorrow.
Tuesday Liigakarsinta Game (2011-12 League Qualifier): Lahti Pelicans @ Vaasan Sport (5:30 PM CET/12:30 PM EST).
Kontinental Hockey League (Russia)
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2, Avangard Omsk 0 (Metallurg wins series 4-3): Regular season leaders Avangard Omsk thought they had this series after back to back multiple overtime victories in Games 4 and 5 to take the lead, but after that they only scored once as Metallurg showed their resolve. Gleb Klimenko scored 7:26 into the 2nd period to give Metallurg all they needed, as Denis Platonov hit the empty net with only four seconds left to put the finishing touches on the series win. Georgy Gelashvilli finished with a 27 save shutout to set up an Eastern Conference Final showdown with the high scoring Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
The KHL takes tomorrow off before beginning with the Western Conference Final on Wednesday in Yaroslavl.
Tipsport Extraliga (Czech Republic)
HC Ocelari Trinec 5, HC Slavia Praha 3 (Trinec leads series 1-0): In the second league semifinal, league leaders Ocelari Trinec looked good early, getting goals from former NHLers Radek Bonk and Lukas Krajicek in the first period, plus a goal and two assists from Martin Ruzicka to build a 4-0 lead after two periods. Prague fought back in the third, scoring three goals before Trinec put it away with a late powerplay goal. The two teams meet again today, with the game time being 6:10 PM CET/1:10 PM EST.
Tuesday's Games: AIK @ Färjestäd (6:50 PM CET/1:50 PM EST); Luleå @ Skellefteå (6:40 PM CET/1:40 PM EST).
Both games are the start of the league semifinals, with AIK and Färjestäd being well rested and Luleå and Skellefteå coming off of seven game series.
Slovnaft Extraliga (Slovakia)
Tuesday's Games: HC 05 Banská Bystrica @ HK Poprad (6:00 PM CET/1:00 PM EST, Series tied 2-2).
HC Kosice is awaiting the winner in the final, and as if they don't need more help: it looks like this semifinal will be a long, hard fought series.
National League A (Switzerland)
Tuesday's Games: Kloten Flyers @ SC Bern (8:15 PM CET/3:15 PM EST, Kloten leads series 3-0); HC Davos @ EV Zug (7:45 PM CET/2:45 PM EST, Davos leads series 3-0); Rapperswil Lakers @ Ambri-Piotta (8:15 PM CET/3:15 PM EST, Ambri leads play-out series 2-1).
We could have a Kloten vs. Davos NLA Final set up after tomorrow, so it'll be up to the home teams to extend these semifinals. The play-out series, though incredibly low scoring, has been far more competitive.