Zaripov worth backing to add to impressive tally
Russian veteran heads KHL postseason scoring
KHL Gagarin Cup final
Game two, 3pm Monday
Although they lost out to CSKA Moscow in the regular season, Metallurg Magnitogorsk and SKA St Petersburg have proved the class of the KHL field in the playoffs.
The two giants of Russian ice hockey have passed the Gagarin Cup between them for the last three years, and dropped just one game apiece on their way to the playoff final.
A fiery, high-scoring series was anticipated, and game one did not disappoint with SKA's Yevgeny Dadonov grabbing the game-winner with three minutes to go in a 5-4 victory for the visitors.
The teams approach their game differently. SKA's star-studded roster present a scoring threat on all four forward lines, while Magnitka rely heavily on their top line to grab goals.
Unsurprisingly, the trio of Jan Kovar, Sergei Mozyakin and Danis Zaripov head the postseason scoring charts. Zaripov in particular has come alive in the playoffs, the 36-year-old having found the net 15 times in 14 games.
Six of those have come on the powerplay, and with both teams having had a man ejected in game one, there is sure to be plenty of bad blood.
Another close, high-scoring game is likely, and it's just 31-10 that overtime is required. A bet on Zaripov to add to his tally at 3-1, though, should provide plenty of entertainment.
D Zaripov to score at any time
1pt 3-1 Betway