(CSKA leads the series 1-0)
In the build-up to this series, Dynamo confirmed that two of its imports – Canada’s Eric O’Dell and Sweden’s Andre Petersson – were leaving the club. In addition, another Swede, Anton Wedin, was unavailable due to illness. On game day there was a further change with Ivan Bocharov replacing Alexander Yeryomenko in goal. The veteran Yeryomenko, now 41 years old, had been a key figure as the Blue-and-Whites rallied from 0-2 to defeat Severstal in seven games to move into the Western semi-finals.
CSKA got in front midway through the first period thanks to Konstantin Okulov, the team’s leading scorer in this year’s playoffs. Sergei Plotnikov drove forward from his own zone only to be held up on Dynamo’s blue line, but the puck broke for Okulov who exchanged passes with Vladislav Kamenev before beating Ivan Bocharov with a wrist shot from edge of the right-hand circle.
The home team was good value for that lead at the first intermission. CSKA outshot Dynamo 9-4 and enjoyed almost twice as much attacking possession in the opening frame. That pattern continued at the start of the second period, but instead of the home team extending its lead, the visitor found a way back. First Vadim Shipachyov went close, only to be denied in a one-on-one with Ivan Fedotov. Then Ivan Muranov spun and produced a superb no-look pass, cutting John Gilmour out of the play and setting up Bogdan Yakimov for a one-timer between the hash marks that gave Fedotov no chance.
Towards the end of the second period, Yakimov found himself in the box and CSKA almost regained the lead on that power play. However, Bocharov was alert to the danger and stopped the best chance, reacting smartly to deny Kamenev’s close-range redirect.
Early in the third, CSKA regained the lead – with Semyon Pankratov rifling home a shot from almost the same spot where Okulov scored in the first. Dynamo’s Andrei Mironov was caught in possession on the boards by Takhir Mingachyov and Vitaly Abramov set up Pankratov between the hash marks to make it 2-1 in the 43rd minute. Almost immediately, Dynamo had a chance on the power play but was unable to take advantage. Instead, CSKA’s PK carved out a scoring chance at the other when first Kamenev then Plotnikov went close to extending the lead.
And back at full strength, the Army Men put the game beyond reach with 10 minutes to play. Anton Slepyshev was the scorer, proving that his team wasn’t able to score only from the right-hand circle. This time, the feed came from Pavel Karnaukhov on the left and Slepyshev snaffled up the chance from a central position.
There was no way back for Dynamo. The Blue-and-Whites struggled to gain control of the puck in the closing stages, and hopes of a fightback took a further blow when Yakimov was called for slashing in the 56th minute. By the time Shipachyov fired home a loose puck in the last minute, it was already too late for his team to save the game.