On a night dominated by memories of the great coach Viktor Tikhonov, who passed away early on Monday morning, CSKA and SKA served up a fitting tribute in the KHL’s summit clash.
CSKA, the club Tikhonov turned into an invincible force, prevailed 5-3; Viktor Tikhonov Jr, the legend’s grandson, scored 2+1 for SKA and was warmly applauded by both sets of fans for his efforts.
As a mark of respect the sell-out crowd in Moscow refrained from its usual chants and drumming for the first period. Even the opening goal barely rippled the vow of silence, even though the slick execution of SKA’s top line, swinging the puck from left to right and back to the net for Jimmie Ericsson to score, was a passage of play that Tikhonov Sr’s own teams might well have recognized.
It was the first and last time SKA led in this game, though: Simon Hjalmarsson tied it up on the power play off an Alexander Radulov pass and in the dying seconds of the first period Evgeny Artyukhin smashed CSKA in front on a two-on ...