Ak Bars 0
SKA leads the series 2-0
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Low-scoring hockey was supposed to favor Ak Bars, the team that came to the grand final on the back of disciplined defense and a willingness to wait for its opponent to stumble.
Instead after two games in Kazan the team trails 2-0 to SKA – and Monday’s Game 2 ended with a 1-0 scoreline more closely associated with Ak Bars’ minimalist progress through post-season to date.
The decisive goal came late in the first period through Anton Burdasov. He collected Roman Rukavishnikov’s pass out of defense, surged down the left flank and scored on Anders Nilsson at the second attempt. The Swedish goalie, so impressive in the series against Avangard and Sibir, may feel he could have done better with his positioning as the SKA forward fired home the rebound from an incredibly tight angle.
That separated the teams after an evenly-matched opening stanza: chances didn’t flow ...