Gagarin Cup Finals to start tonight
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Gagarin Cup Finals to start tonight

Источник: Официальный сайт КХЛ
Finally, tonight the KHL 2022-2023 season gets to its culmination as the Gagarin Cup finals start in Kazan, with the hosts taking on CSKA. The two sides have already met in 2018, when Ak Bars defeated the Muscovites 4-1 in the series en route to their third title. Kazan’s bench boss Zinetula Bilyaletdinov is sure that CSKA has changed since then. “It’s a different squad, but their players are always technically sound, very mobile, and they play well both offensively and defensively. This is a serious opponent,” the coach told KHL.ru. It will be Bilyaletdinov’s fifth final, with three wins in 2009, 2010, and 2018, and a defeat to SKA in 2015.

As a CSKA player, Alexander Radulov reached the Gagarin Cup finals, but he doesn’t think the series will be special for him: “A lot of time has passed,” he said. “All the guys are new there, except for a couple of people. What’s more important is that we made it to the finals, and it doesn’t matter who’s in front of us – we have to go out there, do our job, and get a result.”

“We are well aware of what kind of a player Radulov is, what kind of character he has,” CSKA’s bench boss Sergei Fedorov said. “It’s impossible to simply go and contain him, he’s fast both with and without the puck. We have to come up with something else.”

To get to the finals, Ak Bars defeated Neftekhimik (4-2), Admiral (4-2), and Avangard (4-1), while CSKA’s path was longer as they had to fight over seven games against both Severstal and Lokomotiv, before getting rid of SKA in the Eastern finals in six games.

19:30: Ak Bars vs CSKA 

Series stand
0-0

Series History
2018. Gagarin Cup Finals. Ak Bars defeated CSKA 4-1.

About the game 

Ak Bars’ defenseman Dmitry Yudin is on a four-game scoring streak, with 4 (2+2) points over that span.

CSKA’s forward Konstantin Okulov scored at least a goal in each of his previous four games, totaling five tallies.

CSKA’s goalie Adam Reideborn is on a 65:46 shutout streak.

Milestone alert 

Ak Bars’ defenseman Vyacheslav Voynov may reach 200 KHL points (currently at 198).

Ak Bars’ forwards Vadim Shipachyov and Dmitry Kagarlitsky are in the run to reach an assist milestone, with Shipachyov getting close to 600 (currently at 597), and the latter seeking his 300th (currently at 299).

CSKA’s forward Konstantin Okulov lines up for his 100th game in the KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs.

CSKA’s defenseman Nikita Nesterov, and CSKA’s forward Anton Slepyshev may reach 50 points in the KHL postseason. Both are sitting at 49.