Avangard had a strong start of the series, but Magnitka achieved two away victories to tie things up. The series returns to the Urals on a tie. In the Western Conference, SKA tries to finish off Spartak.

The KHL playoffs matchday starts with the fifth showdown between Magnitka and Avangard. In game four, Metallurg got full advantage of its video team, winning three coaches challenges for as many Hawks’ goals, and as a result, they had a hard-fought win. Today, it will be a real battle as winning game five may be of paramount importance for the final outcome.

In the Western Conference, SKA won three straight games with a 2:1 score, with Andrei Kuzmenko netting the game-winner in OT on Wednesday. Spartak will need to score more goals to try and return into contention, but it won’t be easy for the Red-and-Whites as SKA seemed in full control for most of the series.

15:00: Metallurg vs Avangard

Series stand
The series is tied 2-2.

About the game
The series starts from scratch after Metallurg’s win in game four. Led by a double by Denis Zernov – who also netted the game-winner – Magnitka scored three one-period goals to secure an important away win. The teams will now return to the Urals with Metallurg boosted by two straight away wins. But the Hawks definitely aren’t ready to land just yet.
Metallurg’s forward Nikolai Goldobin is on a three-game scoring streak, with 6 (3+3) points over that span.
Metallurg’s forward Brendan Leipsic is on a four-game scoring streak, with 4 (3+1) points.
Metallurg’s defensemen Yegor Yakovlev and Alexei Maklyukov are on a five-game and four-game assist streak, respectively.
Metallurg’s forward Philippe Maillet is on a three-game scoring streak, with 3 (1+2) points.

Injury list
Metallurg: Mikhail Grigoryev.
Avangard: Alexander Dergachyov.

Milestone alert
Metallurg’s defenseman Yegor Yakovlev may reach 100 KHL assists (currently at 99).
Metallurg’s forward Maxim Karpov may score his 50th point in the KHL playoffs (currently at 48).

17:30: SKA vs Spartak

Series stand
SKA leads the series 3-1.

About the game
Kuzmenko’s tally in OT gave SKA a significant advantage in the battle – the St. Petersburg franchise can close the series today at home after two hard-fought wins in Moscow.
SKA’s defenseman Igor Ozhiganov is on a three-game scoring streak, with 3 (2+1) points over that span.

Injury list
SKA: Joonas Kemppainen.
Spartak: Alexander Avtsin.

Milestone alert
SKA’s forward Anton Burdasov may score his 50th point in the KHL playoffs (currently at 48).
Spartak’s forward Sergei Shirokov may reach 250 KHL assists (currently at 249).

Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
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