SKA fightback keeps series alive. Western Final, Game 427.03.2013
(3) Dynamo Moscow 2
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 6
Dynamo leads the series 3-1
SKA took its first steps along the long road to recovering this series, battling back from 0-2 down to record its first play-off win over Dynamo. Three goals in five minutes shortly after the halfway point transformed the game – and finally saw the St. Petersburg side deliver on the claims of head coach Jukka Jalonen that there was still plenty of hockey to come in this contest.
First Kevin Dallman, the highest-scoring defenseman of the play-offs, fired home an unstoppable one-timer from Tony Martensson’s pass to reduce the deficit on 32:25. Two minutes later Mikhail Varnakov equalized after Alexander Kucheryavenko intercepted a clearance on the blue line and returned it to the danger zone, and on 37:25 Evgeny Artyukhin put SKA ahead after squeezing the puck in at the near post despite the attentions of Roman Derlyuk and goalie Alexander Yeryomenko.
Having launched a final-period recovery just 24 hours earlier, Dynamo’s hopes of a repeat remained buoyant – but once again Dallman was on hand to deny them. The Canadian took his game tally to 2+1, and his post-season haul to 13 points, as he made it 4-2. Dmitry Vorobyov, and an empty-netter from Teemu Ramstedt completed the scoring as SKA ensured the series would return to Petersburg on Saturday.
Earlier Dynamo had made a great start, leaving its fans dreaming of a repeat of last season’s 4-0 sweep and a smooth passage to a second successive Gagarin Cup final. But goals from Marek Kvapil and Alexei Tsvetkov were soon swept away as SKA stepped up a gear to record its first victory of the series.