Lokomotiv Yaroslavl beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 on the road last night. With this win ‘the railway men’ took a 3-2 lead in the series. Lokomotiv defenseman Jakub Nakladal spoke to the media after the game.
Game 5 of the series can be easily divided in two parts. Lokomotiv had the momentum on their side in the first part of the game – they had no trouble gaining the zone and winning physical battles, which led them to score two unanswered goals. In the second part of the game it was CSKA who had the momentum and Yaroslavl struggled protecting their lead. Key moment of the game came 24 minutes in when CSKA defenseman Grigory Panin smashed the glass. Panin tried to staple Emil Galimov to the boards but the latter avoided the hit and Panin crashed into the glass with full force. That hit shattered the glass and the game was paused for about 10 minutes.
Lokomotiv defenseman Jakub Nakladal believes that the pause had consequences for the remainder of the game and led the visiting team to lose the momentum.
“Obviously, we had to convert on that 2-man advantage,” says Nakladal. “We had to shoot the puck on net more often. We took maybe one or two shots. That’s too little. We didn’t do well. Unlike our opponents, who did well killing the penalty. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen next. So far we’re doing well. Next game we play at home in front of our fans. Hopefully, we can finish the series in Yaroslavl.”
- You were hit by the puck in the face in Game 4. Did you have second thoughts about dressing for tonight’s game?
- No, not a doubt. I felt I was ok after last game. I had a CAT scan just in case and it confirmed I was ok.
- CSKA grabbed the momentum after you capitalized on a powerplay.
- You’re right. We got intimidated a little. CSKA saw that and began playing tougher, taking more shots as well. Thankfully, our goaltender kept us in the game.
- How did the pause caused by shattered glass affect Lokomotiv?
- I don’t like these pauses… We’d played well until it happened. You can say CSKA used it to their advantage. Our opponents rested and became more energetic. As for us, something happened to our mindset after that.
- Personally, you’re having a great post-season. You scored six goals already, including three in the series against CSKA. You scored two goals in Game 1 of the series. How would you explain that?
- Excluding last game, we’ve done well on a powerplay. Four of my six goals were powerplay tallies. I’m trusted to play on a powerplay unit, which is great, obviously. Although, I don’t think too much about how many goals I score. Team success is paramount and my goals are just a nice bonus.
- SKA St. Petersburg already made the conference finals. Have you discussed it yet?
- Certainly, we talked about it in the dressing-room after the game. But we only talked about SKA making the conference finals and not about the possibility of meeting them there. So far we’re focused on our series. We’ll think about SKA later.