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Dynamo wins the battle of Moscow

15.03.2013

Western Conference Semifinal, Game 5
(2) CSKA Moscow 0
(3) Dynamo Moscow 2
Dynamo wins the series 4-1

Filip Novak’s goal in the 52nd minute settled another hard-fought Moscow derby – and sent Dynamo into a repeat of last year’s Conference Final against SKA St. Petersburg. Not for the first time on the night, or in the series, Alexei Sopin was the architect as he led a breakaway down the right flank and whipped in a shot which Rastislav Stana couldn’t hold. As the puck bounced around the slot Sopin had a second attempt before d-man Novak followed up to lift it over the sprawling Stana and finally break the deadlock at a tense CSKA Arena.

It was fitting that a defenseman got the all-important goal, given how Dynamo’s rock-solid play in its own zone had done so much to frustrate CSKA throughout the series. And if anyone needed a reminder of how big a role goalie Alexander Yeryomenko had played in his team’s success, he made the most important of his 28 saves few seconds after Novak’s moment of glory when he pulled off a great near-post stop to deny Sergei Shirokov as the forward fired a wrist shot from the right circle.

Defeat, however, was once again bitter for CSKA to swallow after the Army Men created several good chances throughout the game. The home side began the game at a high tempo, despite a long pause in the first minute while referee Konstantin Olenin received treatment after taking a puck in the face. Knowing that the game could be its last chance to impress the home side swarmed forward, piling up the pressure on Yeryomenko’s goal. But once again, the curse of the powerplay struck – despite engineering a 5v3 for 1:46, CSKA still could not become the first team to convert numerical advantage into goals in this series, although Alexander Radulov and Igor Grigorenko went close. At the other end, Dynamo’s counter-attacks were often lively, and Sopin rattled the post in the 12th minute on a one-on-one breakaway.

The second period was similar, with CSKA again creating good chances but failing to score. Three factors seemed to thwart the hosts: good goalkeeping, such as Yeryomenko’s save from Yakov Rylov; misfortune, such as Radulov’s failure to reach an excellent lay-off following Oleg Kvasha’s dart around the goal; and a hint of big-game tension, as evidenced by Sergei Shirokov’s miscue when well-placed in the left-hand circle. At the other end, Stana had to be alert as Dynamo pressed hard on a late powerplay. The goalie held firm as a trio of shots rained in through a crowded goalmouth, finally denying Konstantin Gorovikov to kill the penalty. But in the end the goalie was watching from the bench as his team was caught out desperately trying to tie the game, only for Jakub Petruzalek to claim an empty-netter after being hauled down when clean through on goal.

See also

18.04.2014 Lev claims early advantage. Gagarin Cup Final, Game 1

16.04.2014 Lev – a dangerous underdog. Gagarin Cup Final preview, Part 1

10.04.2014 Lev roars into the Big Final. Western final, Game 5

08.04.2014 Loko keeps its hopes alive. Western final, Game 4