Western Conference final, Game 2
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 1
(3) Dynamo Moscow 2
Dynamo leads the series 2-0
For the second time in three days, SKA was left wondering just how it managed to lose to Dynamo - and the side has little time to find the answer as it trails 2-0 in Western Conference final series.
If Wednesday saw a sensational fightback to sink SKA, Friday was settled by a sucker punch with 2:17 left to play. The home side had bombarded the Dynamo goal for much of the third period, and Maxim Rybin’s equalizer looked likely to be a springboard to a SKA victory which would level the series - but Marek Kvapil had other ideas.
The Czech forward, who had earlier played a key role in Dynamo’s opening goal, burst over the blue line and got his shot past Ilya Ezhov despite the close attentions of defenseman Dmitry Kalinin.
That cancelled out Rybin’s well-worked leveler on 54:40, when he exchanged passes with Vladimir Tarasenko to draw Alexander Yeryomenko out of position and fire home from close range, and put Dynamo firmly in control of the best-of-seven series.
Inevitably, SKA sought to unleash a storm on Yeryomenko’s goal in the dying seconds, but when Patrick Thoresen failed to get his shot away when well-placed with just 25 seconds left, it was clear the game was up.
Dynamo took the lead for the first time shortly after halfway through Jakub Klepis. The Czech forward battled his way on to a Kvapil pass and swiveled to slam home his fourth play-off goal in six appearances. Earlier Mikhail Anisin had missed a penalty shot after being brought down by Dmitry Kalinin when closing in on Yezhov’s goal. SKA also had chances in the first period, most notably when Kirill Koltsov clipped the outside of the post early on.
The action continues on Sunday when the teams meet again at Moscow’s Luzniki Arena.