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Neftekhimik − Ak Bars. Fourth game of series preview

On March 8, Ak Bars will play fourth game of the Gagarin Cup playoffs against first round opponent − HC Neftekhimik: this game will take place in Nizhnekamsk at 17:00 Moscow time.

Score in series

Ak Bars is leading the series with a score of 3:0 − Dmitry Kvartalnov's team won the first games with a score of 4:1 and 5:1, respectively. The third game of the series was the most hard-fought for Kazan, the team of Kvartalnov won in overtime with the score 2:1 thanks to the goals of Nizhnekamsk’s trainee Emil Galimov. Galimov together with Matthew Frattin are the top-scorers of Ak Bars in playoffs, both earning 4 (3+1) points. In the next match, which is scheduled for the International Women's Day, Kazan will have a chance to finish this series.

Neftekhimik

Neftekhimik performed a high-quality completion of the regular season and managed to qualify the playoffs − two away wins over HC Amur (8:0 and 3:2 OT) secured a place to Nizhnekamsk in a fight for the Gagarin Cup. Though, Vyacheslav Butsaev's team played unstable during the regular championship − having a 10-game winning streak (a record in the history of the club), they beat Ak Bars, SKA and CSKA, but often lost points in the games against equal opponents. Despite eighth place in the conference, Neftekhimik is a very dangerous opponent with a high-quality foreign players and promising youth, along with experienced defensemen and goaltenders, can cause Kazan a lot of problems.

Ak Bars

Ak Bars headed the Eastern conference for the fifth time – Dmitry Kvartalnov's team played the entire regular championship at a good level. Certainly, there were some declines, but a quick start and high-quality ending made the team unchallenged. The injury of Danis Zaripov could become a crucial moment for Kazan – the captain of Ak Bars has been injured in the final Green Derby of the season and will definitely miss the start of this series.

Tickets and broadcasting

The fourth match of the series will take place on March 8 at 17:00 at the Neftekhim Arena. TV channels TNV and TNV-Planeta will provide live broadcasting.