AK Bars should put up another resolute defensive display
Metallurg captain Mozyakin was kept quiet in game two
KHL Eastern Conference semi-final game three
Pundits expected a tight series between KHL Eastern Conference rivals Metallurg Magnitogorsk and AK Bars and tight it is with the scores level at 1-1 going into game three.
AK levelled the series with a 4-1 triumph in front of their own fans in Kazan on Saturday night, making up for their overtime loss in the opener.
They kept the playoffs' top goalscorer Sergei Mozyakin to just two shots throughout the night and another strong defensive display from the Tatars at the Arena Metallurg can see them edge in front in the best-of-seven semi-final.
AK needed that victory in game two – in last year's playoffs they were expected to see off Metallurg only to be swept 4-0 and they must have been fearing the worst again having gone into this year's series as favourites.
A major boost for AK in game two was the return of former Metallurg favourite Danis Zaripov – a goalscoring return at that – after a troubled season and he should be ready to go again in Magnitogorsk.
There were more goals in the first two games than anticipated by the oddsmakers, but the 8-11 over 4.5 looks fair enough given the organisation and discipline of these sides.
AK Bars to win (including overtime)
1pt 21-20 bet365
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