(CSKA wins the series 4-0)
This was the last chance saloon for Dynamo. Up against a CSKA team that had yet to taste defeat in this year’s playoffs, only a win would keep Alexei Kudashov’s team in the contest.
Roused by their plight, the Blue-and-Whites made a flying start. In the first minute, Slava Voynov burst into the CSKA, drawing three defensemen to him. Klas Dahlbeck’s poke check prevented Voynov from shooting, but put the puck right on the tape for Oscar Lindberg to fire home the opener after 34 seconds. Typically, Dynamo has been chasing the game in this series; tonight, CSKA fell behind immediately.
And the home team built on that foundation. After seven minutes, it was 2-0, with Voynov and Lindberg involved again before the puck dropped for Stanislav Galiyev to score. That play started with a rare error from Ivan Fedotov, whose attempted clearance went straight to Vadim Shipachyov and plunged the visitor into danger. Next came a 5-on-3 power play, and another Dynamo goal. Shipachyov claimed this one, playing the puck to the slot from behind the goal-line and seeing a scramble of defensemen push it back towards the net. The home captain may have got the final touch amid the pushing and shoving on the crease, but more importantly his team had a commanding lead inside the first 10 minutes.
Despite that dominance on the scoreboard, though, Dynamo was not overpowering CSKA. On the contrary, the Red-and-Blues were competitive throughout this game and got a goal back late in the first when Andrei Svetlakov slung the puck into the danger zone and got a favorable bounce off Alexander Yeryomenko’s pads.
In the second period the balance of play was again very even. However, Dynamo was struggling to repeat the long spells of attacking play it generated in the first and the only goal of the session went to CSKA. Midway through the frame, the visitor got a power play midway and a deflected shot caused chaos in front of Yeryomenko’s net. Dynamo’s defense could not deal with it and Mikhail Grigorenko ultimately finished off from close range.
Early in the third, the scores were level. This was a broken play that ended with Vladislav Provolnev thumping in a shot from the point and Pavel Karnaukhov bagging the second rebound as Dynamo’s defense once again found that it almost did enough to clear its lines – but not quite.
Now CSKA was ready to tighten the screws. The big moment came in the 53rd minute when a prolonged spell of Dynamo pressure came to an end and CSKA grabbed a goal on the counter. A blocked shot at one end turned into a one-on-one chance for Sergei Plotnikov at the other, and the Russian international made no mistake to beat Yeryomenko. Then came penalty trouble for the home team and, in the closing stages, Darren Dietz and Nikita Nesterov added power play goals to give the final score a more convincing look. CSKA becomes the first team to advance to the conference finals, with Spartak or SKA in wait.