Salavat Yulaev takes commanding 3-0 lead in KHL Gagarin Cup final with 3-2 win over Atlant

Patrick Thoresen scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute as Salavat Yulaev Ufa won their third game in a row in the Kontinental League Gagarin Cup final Tuesday, defeating Atlant 3-2 in Mytishchi to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

It was a back-and-forth affair at Mytishchi Arena with the two teams trading goals throughout the first two periods.  Salavat Yulaev opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Sergei Zinovyev redirected Vyacheslav Koslov’s shot past Atlant goalkeeper Konstantin Barulin for the early 1-0 lead.  The advantage was short-lived, however, as Yaroslav Obsut tied the game in the 12th minute on a power play goal.

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Oleg Saprykin restored the lead for Salavat with a goal in the 23rd minute, but Atlant’s Evgeny Nurislamov beat Salavat Yulaev netminder Erik Ersberg in the 29th minute to knot the score once again.

“Today we started well and created opportunities, but squandered our leads, allowing (Atlant) to enter the game,” said Salavat Yulaev coach Vyacheslav Bykov.  “I’m very pleased we scored the third goal and won, but now remains the most important step, which will take a lot of effort.”

The fourth game of the series will be Thursday in Mytishchi.  It will be broadcast in the United States live at 11:30 A.M. EST on