Sunday's KHL playoff games spelled doom for 5 more teams. Ak Bars finished off Barys Astana 3-1 for a 3-0 series sweep. A 1-1 tie was broke when Alexi Yemalin picked up assists on goals by Niko Kapanen (big suprise there) and Alexi Morozov, both on power plays, both in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Neftekhimik broomed Avangard as well with a 2-1 series clincher. Maxim Yakutsenya tallied his third of the series with 2:33 left. I've also learned that part of Avangard's problem was that management decided to fire their coach just before the playoffs started. A stupid choice in any circumstances, but I'm sure the powers that be in Omsk have figured that out now. Avtomobilist stunned Salavat Yulaev 4-3 to stay alive. Avto had taken a 3-1 lead until Patrick Thoresson scored twice in a 2:58 span of the second to tie it up. But that was not enough yet, because Ekaterinburg's Alexi Simakov got the winner halfway through the 3rd and they hung on to close the gap to 2 games to 1.
Also staying alive was Traktor Cheyablinsk. Their match with Metallurg was scoreless until the favorites scored early in the 3rd period. With 2:55 to go, Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it for Avtomobilist, and Pierre Dagenias bagged his 2nd of the series at 4 minutes even of OT. Spartak, the subject of rumours of the team being moved out of Moscow, conquered its city rivals for the 2nd straight year, finishing off Dynamo Moscow, 4-0 on Dmitri Kotschnew's second shutout. Spartak got 3 in a 2:22 span, including 2 by the Ruzicka-Lapenkov-Cibak line in 26 seconds.
Lokomotiv had a real battle to end their series with Atlant. Josef Vasicek tied a game that had went 2 scoreless periods just 25 seconds after Sergei Mizyakin had given Atlant the lead, and then -much later- assisted on Alexi Mikhanov's game winner at 9:07 of the second overtime to give Yaroslavl the 2-1 win and 3-1 series win.
Finally, Dinamo Riga led by backup goalie Martin Prusek eliminated SKA 4-2. Former NHLer Sandis Ozolinsh had 2 assists, including one on Martins Karsums empty-netter . So in the west conference, 3 of 4 top seeds are out. If I understand their seeding right, round 2 will feature Riga against MVD, While Lokomotiv will play Spartak. The eastern conference is still unclear, with two series undecided. Those two will continue tomorrow.