Traktor opened 2013 on a negative note
Metallurg went at it right out of the blocks and had the advantage throughout the period. Garnett had some work to do after Kazionov’s shot from the crease, which he blocked successfully. Metallurg soon received a chance at power play and capitalized brilliantly; Malkin muscled his way to Traktor’s net and outplayed Garnett with a backhand shot. Traktor did not learn and got another penalty momentarily, but counterintuitively had the best scoring chance of the period; Kuznetsov flew away from Magnitka’s defensemen but could not beat Ahonen. Visitors then did not make the best of their opportunity at power play. However, Traktor managed to even the game out towards the end of the period and had a couple of chances on goal, but Ari Ahonen kept his sheet clean and his team ahead.
Traktor’s coaching staff tried to shake things up via changes in the lines, but experiments failed, and Valery Belousov returned to the well-tried combinations of players. Metallurg could extend the lead with two power plays; Garnett neutralized most of the threats; once though he was unable to do it when Malkin launched a meteor of a shot that rocked the post. Traktor could tie the match when Chistov popped up on Ahonen’s crease, but Metallurg’s goalie stopped the effort. Shortly thereafter Metallurg doubled the lead; Malkin was once again the executioner. Traktor seemed disassembled at this point while Metallurg, on the contrary, resembled a freight train with the only mode – full speed ahead. Zuccarello and Mozyakin could very well bury Traktor’s chances in this match, but Garnett was able to keep the decent goal margin for his team.
Traktor received a shot at power play three minutes into the period; Antipov and Panov could resuscitate the drowsy intrigue, but Ahonen’s reflexes were impeccable. And then it was the time for caps to fly on the ice; Yevgeny Malkin completed his hat-trick and single-handedly destroyed Traktor in the process. Visitors were trying their best to upset Ahonen at least once, but Metallurg’s Finnish goaltender slammed the door of his goal shut. 3:0; Traktor could not avoid the wrath of Malkin who became the undertaker for Chelyabinsk team tonight. Traktor is now heading to Moscow to take on CSKA on January 6.
Stats and details
Metallurg vs. Traktor – 3:0 (1:0, 1:0, 1:0)
Goals: Malkin (Mozyakin, Gonchar), 5 (1:0 – PP); Malkin (Kulyomin), 32 (2:0); Malkin (Mozyakin, Lisin), 49 (3:0).
Antipin – Misharin, Kulyomin – Malkin – Mozyakin,
Gonchar – Khabarov, Zuccarello – O’Reilly – Platonov,
Bernatsky – Bondarev, Potekhin – Hodgman – Kazionov,
Antonovsky, Zdunov – Yakubov – Lisin.
Belov – Vasilchenko, Kostitsyn – Bulis – Yakutsenya,
Quint – Ryabykin (A), Chistov – Kuznetsov – Lemtyugov,
Shinin – Katichev, Panov (A) – Dugin – Antipov (C),
Glinkin – Popov – Karpov.
Penalty Minutes: 10 (2+2+6) - 10 (4+6+0).
Shots: 28 (9+9+10) - 23 (6+9+8).
Faceoffs Won: 32 (10+9+13) - 21 (9+8+4).
Time on Ice: Antipin (24:12), Malkin (23:02), Kulyomin (22:14) - Kuznetsov (23:32), Ryabykin (23:18), Quint (22:00).
Power Play Goals: 1-0.
Referees: Vyacheslav Bulanov, Konstantin Olenin (both – Moscow).
Linesmen: Aleksey Koposov, Aleksandr Otmakhov (both – Yekaterinburg).
January 4, 2013. Metallurg Arena, Magnitogorsk, Russia. Attendance – 7700.
Photo courtesy of Metallurg’s Press Office