It sounds incredibly strange, but the two Southern Urals franchise only met once in the KHL playoff history – and that only occurrence happened more than a decade ago when Metallurg defeated Traktor in the 2010 first round. Interestingly enough, Vasily Koshechkin guarded Magnitka’s crease, but it was only his first stint in Magnitogorsk when he was hired as a playoff rental off Lada Togliatti in the KHL’s second season.

However, naturally, the teams changed a lot – yet they had different paths. Metallurg went on with two championships in 2014 and 2016, while Traktor had only a single appearance in the finals in 2013, when they lost to Dynamo Moscow (2-4).

This year, they look both solid contenders for a place in the Gagarin Cup finals, with a different approach to the game. Traktor plays more of a conservative style, while Metallurg uses more creativity forward and can count on four balanced lines. Moreover, Traktor is entering the series without two key players in Teemu Pulkkinen and Lukas Sedlak.

15:00: Metallurg vs Traktor

Series stand:
The series is tied 0-0.

Series history:
2010: First-round meetup. Metallurg defeated Traktor 3-1.

About the game
Before reaching the conference finals, Metallurg had a tough series against the KHL Gagarin Cup reigning champions, Avangard. Magnitka prevailed with a last-gasp victory in game seven, with Vasily Koshechkin earning his first shutout of this year’s playoffs. Earlier, Metallurg got rid of Barys in five games.
Traktor, on the other hand, had a different path. They needed more games in the first round, defeating Neftekhimik 4-2, but only needed five to surpass Salavat Yulaev in the Conference semis.
In the regular season, the two Southern Ural sides met only twice exchanging 3:2 home wins. However, in Chelyabinsk, only an OT goal by Vladimir Tkachyov separated the two rivals.
Metallurg’s goalie Vasily Koshechkin is on a 71:00 shutout streak.
Metallurg’s defenseman Yegor Yakovlev had an assist in each of his previous eight games.

Injury list
Metallurg: Alexei Maklyukov.
Traktor: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Sedlak.

Milestone alert
Metallurg’s forward Maxim Karpov may reach 50 playoff points (currently sitting at 48).

Related clubs

Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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