(1) Ak Bars 2
Ak Bars leads the series 2-1
For the second game in a row Ak Bars shut out Avangard to move ahead in this series as injuries begin to bite into Raimo Summanen’s line-up.
Shorn of the talents of Vladimir Sobotka and Denis Parshin the home team was struggling to field more than one line with a potent goal threat and a well-drilled Kazan defense was always going to make it hard to find a breakthrough. By the first intermission in a game where there were few clear-cut chances, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov’s team was confident that it could step up the pace without fear of being caught on a counter-attack.
It still took until almost halfway through the game before Ak Bars got in front, though. Ilya Nikulin, still a reliable goal-scorer from the blue-line, followed up a neat move to score from mid-range. Avangard looked short of ideas, and even if it was able to spend more game time around Anders Nilsson’s net it wasn’t really stretching the Swe ...