HC MVD has battled back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven Kontinental League Gagarin Cup final following a 3-2 victory over defending champs Ak Bars Kazan in Balashikha. The victory was the first win by a home team in the series.
Dmitry Obukhov gave Ak Bars the early lead, beating HC MVD goalie Michael Garnett with his fourth goal of the finals in the 14 minutes in. Just more than a minute later, Filip Novak evened the score, converting on a power play opportunity for HC MVD when his shot from the blueline was deflected by a defender’s stick past Ak Bars keeper Petri Vehanen.
In the second period, Alexei Tsvetkov put HC MVD on top with a goal in the in the final minute. However, as the seconds ticked down to the intermission, Alexei Tereshchenko knotted the score once again to send the game into the break tied at 2-2.
In the third period, Roman Derlyuk worked the crease to net the game-winner in seven minutes in to the delight of the home crowd. The victory puts HC MVD one win away from lifting the Gagarin Cup.
Game 6 goes Sunday in Kazan.
The Gagarin Cup playoffs, the KHL’s post-season tournament, named for famed Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, features 16 teams consisting of the top eight teams from the KHL’s Eastern and Western Conferences.