MOSCOW, February 21 (R-Sport) – Gagarin Cup holder Dynamo Moscow started its KHL playoffs campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Slovan Bratislava in the opening game of their Western Conference quarterfinal.
Czech wing Jakub Petruzalek, who moved from Amur Khabarovsk last month, made the difference in Moscow on Wednesday night with two goals and an assist to put Dynamo 1-0 ahead in the best-of-seven series.
“It was difficult for me, but now my confidence is back," said Petruzalek, who got off to a slow start with one point in his first ten games at Dynamo.
Dynamo's other goals came through Alexei Tsvetkov, Denis Mosalev and Roman Derlyuk. Slovan's Michal Vondrka had given his team hope that turned out to be short-lived on 27 minutes, making the score 2-1 before the hosts pulled away.
Meanwhile, regular season champion SKA St. Petersburg laid siege to the Atlant Moscow Region goal but needed overtime to register a 1-0 victory.
Atlant goaltender Stanislav Galimov was beaten by the 37th shot to fly at his goal four minutes into overtime, when former Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Thoresen found the net from the crease on a powerplay.
By contrast, Atlant mustered just 16 efforts on the goal of Ilya Ezhov, who became the first goaltender to score a shutout in the playoffs.
Elsewhere, Yakov Rylov’s overtime goal gave CSKA Moscow a 3-2 home win against Lev Prague.
Discipline was the decisive factor in the game as four of five goals were scored on powerplays.
CSKA's Radulov brothers stamped their authority on the game with one goal and two assists between them. Alexander Radulov hit the opener off an assist from Igor. Then 15 minutes into overtime Alexander set up Rylov for the decider.
Ex-New York Islanders wing Oleg Kvasha grabbed the other goal for the hosts.
Lev's goals came from Petr Vrana, who leveled it at 1-1 early in the second period, and Michal Repik, who sent the game into the overtime.
Severstal Cherepovets was the only team to record a road victory, prevailing 2-1 at Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Lokomotiv forward Alexei Kalyuzhny scored the opener 86 seconds after the starting face-off, but goals from Gennady Stolyarov and Vadim Schipachev took Severstal to victory.
Thursday will see the second games in the West and the opening games in the Eastern Conference, where Ak Bars Kazan hosts Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, Avangard Omsk plays Sibir Novosibirsk, Traktor Chelyabinsk faces Barys Astana and Metallurg Magnitogorsk meets Salavat Yulaev Ufa.