The game might have been over for five seconds, but Kuzya (bottom right) isn’t done scoring.
On Tuesday, as Traktor Chelyabinsk forced Ak Bars Kazan to game 7 in the KHL’s Eastern Conference Finals, Kuzya decided to shoot at the Ak Bars net as the buzzer blew. Ak Bars players did not appreciate Kuzya’s gesture, and the entire team skated after him at center ice. Kuznetsov, swift of skate, knowing his life was in danger, somehow avoided getting tackled. He did not, however, avoid getting punished: a 10-minute misconduct from the officials.
Kuznetsov contributed in the scoresheet, tallying a secondary assist on Jan Bulis’ powerplay goal eight minutes into the game.
Traktor has won two straight games to take Ak Bars Kazan into an all-or-nothing Game 7 on Wednesday. After a heartbreaking overtime loss in a 6-5 shootout in Game 5, Traktor and Ak Bars have gone back to the tight, defense-first hockey that both teams preach. In five other games, three of which went into overtime, the teams combined for 16 goals in 363 minutes of playing time– or 2.64 goals per 60 minutes.
After a dreadful start to the postseason, Kuznetsov has improved, netting four points in the first six games of this series.
Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.