Ak Bars Kazan has become the third KHL team to reach the last eight after completing a 4-0 series win over Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the first round of the playoffs.

A double-overtime strike from Lauris Darzins gave two-time KHL champion Ak Bars a 3-2 win at Neftekhimik on Tuesday to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals after a passionate derby series against its neighboring team in the region of Tatarstan.

Ak Bars had been favorites to progress after topping the Eastern table in the regular season. For Neftekhimik the defeat extends its record of losing in the first round on each of the four occasions the team has made the playoffs.
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