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The players and head coaches of CSKA and Ak Bars share their thoughts on Wednesday’s Opening Cup game in Moscow. Ak Bars won 3-2 in overtime.

Artyom Lukoyanov, Ak Bars forward

“It’s good to be back. In pre-season we played with half-strength teams, not all of us were involved. Today was the first game with the roster we would like to see. We won, despite the fact that we didn’t all get a full pre-season and some of us have only just arrived. I think we can get better.

“We’re happy to start by winning the first game and getting our first trophy. That means a lot to us and it will help us settle into our game. For a first game it was good, but maybe not spectacular. We saw some goals, including some strange ones.

“We always enjoy playing a physical game, it’s a part of hockey. Today we had to use our bodies, go toe-to-toe so that the opponent gets tired. We tried to play aggressively, like our coaches asked, but it’s still difficult to get into the game at this stage.”

Dmitry Kvartalnov, Ak Bars head coach

“It was a tough game but we’re happy to come out with a win. There was some confusion at the start and we allowed a goal on their first shot. Maybe that made us more anxious, we had a lot of misplaced passes. But gradually we got it together and managed to get the win.

“I agree that Reideborn could have done better with the first goal, and the second as well. But he turned the game around for us by stopping Slepyshev’s penalty shot. After that we tied it up and won.

“Da Costa’s line looked good and scored a great power play goal. I think they can give us even more.”

CSKA forward Anton Slepyshev talked about the incident that led to his penalty shot

“If Yarullin hadn’t fouled me, I was clean through on the net. I just lost my footing, I didn’t dive at all. For my goal, I didn’t shoot looking for a deflection, I just tried to get the puck on target. Luckily it went in.

“In the end I missed the penalty shot and that cost us the win. They pushed us back to our net, they had a really strong line and they overpowered us. In the end we were too nervous, we really wanted to start the season with a win.”

Igor Nikitin, CSKA head coach

“I think it was a fair result. I’ve no complaints about anyone’s work or commitment, but I do have concerns about our discipline in the game. We took some needless penalties and I think Ak Bars pushed us into that. There’s a lot of work ahead but it’s good that we started against an opponent who could set an example for us.

“Why did we leave out Johansson, Kempe and Leipsic? We used everyone who was fit and ready for the game. Telegin only played five minutes because he picked up an injury. The doctors will tell us more about that.”

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Related clubs

Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
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