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Series decider looks likely to be a close-run thing; Ice HOCKEY.

aK bars Kazan v salavat Yulaev 3pm BETWEEN them, Ak Bars Kazan and Salavat Yulaev Ufa have won three of the four Kontinental Hockey League championships, writes Adam Scriven.

The Eastern Conference rivals don't boast such classy rosters this season but one of them will advance to the conference finals to take on Traktor Chelyabinsk after today's game.

It took until the second period of overtime for Brent Sopel to net a winner for Salavat in Sunday's game six of this series and set up today's decider, and that is typical of how closely-matched the battle has been.

The home side have yet to register a victory in the regulation 60 minutes and Sunday was the second time in succession the team with home-ice advatnage have won 4-3 in overtime.

Ak Bars ended the regular season at the top of the Eastern Conference standings after taking maximum points from their last three matches, and their play-off campaign got off to a perfect start as they demolished Neftekhimik in the minimum four games.

Salavat also ended the regular season in great form, winning five of their last six matches. In their first-round post-season assignment they edged out a Magnitogorsk side shorn of the NHL stars who made them such a force for much of the season.

The Ufa side won the first two games of this series and were unhappy that Andrei Morozov's OT winner in game five was not called for offside, but they will be full of belief having given Ak Bars's star goalie Konstantin Barulin a heavy workload.

Bookmakers expect the Kazan men to wrap it up inside 60 minutes but backing the visitors with a half-goal start could be the best way to go.

Only three of the sides' last ten meetings have ended in a regulation-time win for Ak Bars.

Recommendation Salavat Yulaev +0.5 goals 2pts 5-6 bet365 Scan this tag for bet365's markets on this match Ak Bars goalkeeper Konstantin Barulin has been kept busy
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 20, 2013
Words:331
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