The 2023/2024 regular championship of the Kontinental Hockey League presents the third game of the day where the league's top team faces off against the penultimate team from the East. Metallurg will welcome Admiral from Vladivostok at Magnitogorsk.
Metallurg is currently going through a challenging period, securing only three victories in their last five matches. For a team aiming for the Kontinental Cup, three victories out of five, four of which were against teams from the Far East, is far from impressive. They suffered losses against Admiral (1:2) and Amur (4:7). Even in the latest match against Avangard, Magnitka equalised only 0.1 seconds before the end of the third period and then scored in overtime into an empty goal.
However, this win under the leadership of Andrey Razin let them secure the top spot in the KHL. Currently, Metallurg leads the Eastern Conference, earning 84 points after 60 matches. These points were gained thanks to 30 victories in regulation time, nine beyond it and another six losses with a single point. The remaining 15 games Metallurg lost without extra points. Magnitka has the best score among Eastern teams with 193 goals, but is only seventh when it comes to conceded goals (154).
Leonid Tambiev's team at least managed to move from the last to the penultimate place in the East. Although an easy task, considering Barys lost seven matches in a row and Admiral managed to secure occasional victories such as 4:3 against Salavat Yulaev in overtime and 5:3 against Kunlun. However, the trip to Minsk was a complete failure for Admiral; they conceded four goals and scored none. Interesting to note, if Admiral loses this game and Neftekhimik wins its next two games, Admiral will definitively lose their chances for the playoffs.
Currently, Admiral occupies the first line in the conference, amassing just 47 points after 59 games. Admiral secured these points with 11 victories in regulation time, seven beyond it and another 11 losses with a single point. Admiral lost the remaining 30 matches without earning any extra points. Admiral stands second last in goals scored (126) and only a bit better in goals conceded, third last with 171 goals.
Between the two, Metallurg and Admiral have played 28 matches. Of these, 18 were won by Metallurg while Admiral claimed the remaining 10. This season, Magnitka has secured two victories with scores of 5:2 and 4:2. Admiral won a match with a score of 2:1.
Here, I would suggest taking HANDICAP1 (-1.5) at 1.61. It yields slightly greater odds at least.
However, it seems even better for me to go for ITO1 (3.5) at 1.83. Magnitka has beaten this total twice this season, so why not do it a third time, especially at home.