Salavat Yulaev missed the chance to become the first side through to the Gagarin Cup finals following a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
After the two sides exchanged goals early into the game, visiting Metallurg put up more pressure in Salavat’s zone and made it 4-1 midway through the second period, with one of these goals coming while Salavat were trying to convert a powerplay.
The home side did rally in the third, but goals by Yakub Klepish and Viktor Kozlov were too little, too late.
“I think we’ve played a good game, especially during the first two periods,” Metallurg head coach Kari Heikkila said of the game. “We eased up in the third period, but still I’m satisfied with the way we played tonight. The series is not over yet, and we’ll keep on fighting. We’re looking forward to the next game.”
So, Mettalurg earned a lifesaver on Friday, but Salavat still lead the series, 3-2, and will give it another try on the road on Sunday.