(SKA leads the series 2-1)
The teams shared the opening games of the series in Petersburg, with the visitor kicking things off with a convincing 4-1 verdict before losing out to a solitary goal from Kirill Marchenko in game two. As the action moved to the capital, we saw another competitive encounter and more late drama.
For game three, Dynamo reshuffled three of its lines. The most notable change saw Ivan Igumnov restored to the second line in place of Vladimir Bryukvin, who missed out today. Goalie Alexander Yeryomenko also returned to the team in place of Ivan Bocharov. SKA, meanwhile, was forced to replace the injured Evgeny Ketov and brought back Anton Burdasov after he missed Saturday’s narrow victory. The forward not only took over Ketov’s role on the team, but also inherited the ‘C’ from his colleague’s jersey.
SKA went ahead after four minutes after youth won its duel with experience. A lovely no-look pass from Ivan Morozov, 20, released another young forward Vasily Podkolzin, 19. He came storming down the right-hand channel, outpaced Sergei Boikov and went on to outwit 40-year-old goalie Yeryomenko and give the visitor the early lead.
That advantage increased in the second period as Burdasov celebrated his 100th playoff appearance with a goal. SKA’s captain surged forward down the left-hand channel before scoring through Yeryomenko’s pads. Burdasov is the first player born in 1991 or later to make 100 playoff appearances, and he marked that milestone in style.
However, Dynamo’s own super sniper, Dmitrij Jaskin, hit back midway through the game. He weaved his way inside from the right boards and placed a precise shot into the top corner from the edge of the circle to put the Blue-and-Whites firmly back in the game. However, the visitor finished the second period the stronger, with Yeryomenko making a good save to deny Burdasov a second goal before almost being caught out by a shot from beyond the goal line. Then, in the final minute of the frame, Jaskin took a minor penalty and SKA got a power play to begin the third period.
However, Dynamo survived that penalty and tied the game early in the third. Andrei Sergeyev, emerging as a potent two-way threat in this year’s playoffs, created the opportunity as he carved a swathe through the SKA defense before playing the puck to the back doorstep, where Ivan Igumnov launched himself full length to steer it into the net. Sergeyev moves to 9 (4+5) points in the current post season and goes second in the playoff scoring race behind Avangard forward Sergei Tolchinsky.
Neither side could find a winner in the second period, although Dynamo came rather closer than the visitor. However, in the extras it did not take long for SKA to get the goal that won the game and put the team ahead in the series. The play started with a faceoff in center ice. Evgeny Timkin won the puck and advanced on the net, getting Michal Cajkovsky into a tangle along the way. Yeryomenko cleared the initial effort, but the puck dropped for Vladislav Kamenev to put away the decisive goal.