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Valeri Bragin speaks after beating Ak Bars in Kazan

Ak BarsPress-conferenceValeri BraginAk Bars - SKA - 251121
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Valeri Bragin:

- It was a good match from our point of view. Yes, we wanted to make better use of our scoring opportunities, but the team worked from the first to the last minute. I am grateful to our guys, they treated this game really seriously.

- Why did you use your coach's challenge for Ak Bars' first goal which counted?

- It was a 50/50 incident, that's why we decided to challenge the call. If the second period would have finished 3:1 in our favour, I think that we would have won in regulation time.

- You weren't happy when your fourth goal was disallowed for goaltender interference either.

- The referees are responsible for those decisions. The puck was already practically in the net, but they thought that the stick struck the blocker before it crossed the line.

- What was lacking for SKA after taking a 3:0 lead?

- We gave the opponents a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, we continued to have an advantage in terms of game play when the score was 3:2, and we won in the end.

Valeri Bragin speaks after beating Ak Bars in Kazan

- After losing six on the bounce, what did you change?

- As I have already said a number of times, a lot of our guys were with the national team and we signed new players. We engaged in a lot of physical conditioning and tactical work. Hopefully, our results will now improve.

- Why did you pick Dmitry Nikolaev instead of Lars Johansson in your net for this match?

- Dmitry was excellent on Tuesday and had been solid when being introduced against CSKA Moscow last Sunday. He was good today as well, he deserves to play.

- Will Marat Khusnutdinov play again for the main SKA team before joining the Russian junior national team for the training camp?

- We will see. He's a bit tired at the moment, so we have decided to give him a rest.

- Matvei Michkov was only on the ice twice despite being placed in one line with Nikita Gusev.

- He didn't get into the game.

- In six games for SKA, Alexander Volkov has only dished out one assist while picking up a negative plus/minus rating. When will he be in optimal form?

- He's improving with every passing game, his efforts are useful for us.

- Nikita Gusev has now picked up points in two successive matches.

- Nikita feels good physically, and his performance level is constantly improving.

- Why did Zakhar Bardakov miss so many games for SKA?

- He was performing worse than his teammates.

- Are Zakhar and Dmitry Voronkov similar in terms of their approach on the ice?

- I don't know. Zakhar plays on the wing, whereas Dmitry is a centre forward. Voronkov is more of a universal player, but Zakhar is a fighter and makes good passes.

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