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Denis menaces SKA

28 March 2012, 22:36

Western Conference final, Game 1
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 4
(3) Dynamo Moscow 5 OT
Dynamo leads the series 1-0

Dynamo Moscow had Denis Mosalyov to thank after the forward struck a hat-trick in a dramatic fightback on the way to an overtime win in the opening game of the Western Conference final series at SKA St. Petersburg.

But before the final verdict was reached there was huge controversy in the 10th minute of overtime when Tony Martensson bundled the puck home from the slot, only to be pulled up for kicking. Within seconds, a shell-shocked SKA had conceded Mosalyov’s hat-trick goal. The forward worked his way back from beyond the red line to squeeze a shot beyond Jakub Stepanek and wrap up an improbable victory for a Dynamo side which trailed 0-3 at the second interval.

And Mosalyov was the key man in that dramatic turnaround, scoring twice in the closing stages to tie the game at 4-4. First he got the vital touch on a Denis Kokarev pass on 48:41, then with barely a minute to play he tied the scores, sweeping home the loose puck from the edge of the left-hand circle to stun a capacity crowd in Petersburg.

Early in the game, lax defending had allowed SKA to grab the initiative - an evenly matched first period produced just one goal, when Viktor Tikhonov was left all alone to collect Igor Makarov’s pass and fire past Alexander Yeryomenko. The second period brought further problems at the back for the visitors - Vladimir Tarasenko muscled his way past Dmitry Vishnevsky on the blue line and his shot was blocked only for Tikhonov to tuck in the rebound. Then Tarasenko got his first goal on 30:06 to put SKA 3-0 up.

But that was far from game over, as Dynamo roared back in the final session. Marek Kvapil squeezed a shot through Stepanek’s pads and Leo Komarov got his first play-off strike early in the third to make it a one-goal game, and even after a Tarasenko power-play goal Mosalyov was ready to set up that dramatic conclusion.

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