The champions do not tire of repeating that they do not look at the classification, and in the first round of the playoffs they do not care who they meet. However, the conditional “Vityaz” and the capital “Dynamo” are two big differences. So far, the Moscow army team is fourth in the West, despite today’s victory over its direct competitor Lokomotiv (2:1 OT).
Last Wednesday at the CSKA Arena, the railway workers inflicted a sensitive defeat on the champion 4:1. After the final siren, CSKA head coach Sergei Fedorov said that his team had not forgotten how to play, score and win. She was dropped for rude errors and the elimination of Beijing-2022 runner-up Karnaukhov until the end of the game.
Today the rivals met for the sixth time this season. And so far in this series, Lokomotiv was winning 3-2. Why be surprised if Igor Nikitin’s team achieved four wins in six matches against SKA (4-2), which won the Viktor Tikhonov Continental Cup ahead of schedule?
The ice melted in the Arena-2000, the rivals watched each other closely. Goal-scoring chances for two created enough fives to count.
The most memorable was the solo of the young railwayman Berezkin, which already debuts in the first link with Shalunov and Kayumov. The striker gracefully placed the puck under him, left back Dietz went toe-to-toe with goalkeeper Sharychenkov, but flung it into his shields.
The score was opened by the guests thanks to a rebound from defender Rafikov’s skate. The puck drifted into the net, and goalkeeper Bocharov’s stick and pancake flew through the air, who had dried as many as seven matches this season.
Until now, the former Dynamo player is inferior in competition to the “native” Isaev, but recently he seized an opportunity, proving that the coaches can count on him in the playoffs.
And the opposite goal was defended by Sharychenkov, who allowed his substitute Reideborn to play in February in a single, last game. It seems that with the Swede, who is counted as the first number, they are not going to renew his contract, he feels it and does the job without the right push.
The hosts restored the balance in the last minute of the second period. A rebound from the front was defended by forward Kraskovsky and from the sharper angle brought the puck into the top nine. Grenadier Sharychenkov managed to move and cover most of the gate with his whole body. There was a narrow space above his shoulder, and the disk fluttered there.
In Yaroslavl, however, they saw something else. Somehow the defender of the army Naumenkov, now one of the leaders of Salavat Yulaev, managed to put the puck on Sorokin’s shoulder with a shovel (!) Own goal of rare beauty!
After the second break, Fedorov knocked out the “light cavalry” – Abramov and Poltapov, releasing the textured Guskov. But the score has not changed. Even in the majority, the opponents threatened the gates a little.
Shortly before the siren, under the furious blow of the defender Yelesin, who crushed Karnaukhov in the previous match, the young Mingachev fell. The soldier could not get up from the ice for a long time, and then disappeared into the locker room. The judges went to the “cinema” for a large fine. But no offense was found – the referee Ravodin (the first in domestic hockey to conquer the height of 1000 matches) announced to the whole hall that the power reception was clean.
And in extra time, the Yaroslavl team brought the puck to the goalposts, the army team could not dream of any replacement of the goalkeeper. In a one-on-one counterattack with Sharychenkov, veteran Averin, the club record holder for number of matches in the KHL, sped away. But the CSKA captain Nesterov did not allow him to resign. He not only managed to come back and knock out the striker’s stick, but also earned an elimination. Averin inadvertently cut the soldier’s glove and headed for the penalty area.
In most, Grigorenko’s cannon fired accurately. Bocharov could not cope with the timer from him.
CSKA added two points and reduced the distance to Lokomotiv to a minimum, with two games pending. So far, the champions are fourth, which promises a Moscow derby in the first round of the cup.
In Minsk, “Torpedo” continued the victorious pace – 4:2 and, it seems, is not going to give way to second place in the West just like that.
On Monday, the automakers will try to confirm their ambitions and claims in the tournament at the CSKA Arena. We are waiting for Professor Igor Larionov and his golden team, who have graced this marathon season.
Lokomotiv – CSKA – 1:2 OT (0:0, 1:1, 0:0, 0:1). Goals: Kraskovsky – Grigorenko (2).
Admiral – Avtomobilist – 3:1, Amur – Ak Bars – 3:4, Metallurg – HC Sochi – 4:2, Salavat Yulaev – Sibir – 1:2 B, Vityaz – Dynamo M – 3:1, Spartak – Severstal – 1 :3, Dynamo Mn – Torpedo – 2:4, Kunlun Red Star – Barys – 1:2 OT.