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What SKA players thought about the match with CSKA

Ilya KovalchukCSKAMikko KoskinenInterviewViktor TikhonovCSKA - SKA
R-Sport, sports.ru

Ilya Kovalchuk:

- It was a good match. A lot of players couldn't take part today, and as a result maybe the game didn't turn out so emotional. It's an important win for us, and as we reconstruct our game it's great to beat a strong opponent away from home.

Why can we beat CSKA, but not Dynamo? I honestly don't know. In the previous match against Dynamo we played great, but let the victory slip out of hands in the final seconds.

Alexander Radulov's absence is CSKA's problem. For us Patrick Thoresen, Anton Belov and Andrey Kuteikin couldn't take part.

It's important for us to close the gap between us and CSKA. The title of Russian champions is prestigious, and we will try to catch CSKA up.

- You have never become a champion at club level. Will you consider it mission complete if you become a Russian champion?

- Of course not! The play-offs are the main thing.

What SKA players thought about the match with CSKA

Mikko Koskinen:

- CSKA played in their style of hockey. I don't know how much they missed their leading players, I can only guess. The game is always more interesting when you have your best players on the ice, and it's good that SKA have beaten CSKA three times this campaign.

I feel comfortable in the team. All of our guys are great hockey players. I don't know if we have found our game, but we are concentrated for every match, taking it step by step. It's important.

The play-offs aren't far away, and our confidence now will help us out. Pressure? There's no pressure at all.

Viktor Tikhonov:

- It's very easy for us to play with Mikko Koskinen. Despite being a huge figure he can move well, and communicates brilliantly. If you noticed, one moment on the powerplay he made a save, I began to relax, but he cried out my name and started off a new play for us. He understands and reads the game excellently.

- Do you speak in English together or Russian?

- Usually in English, but he knows some Russian game phrases.

- How have you managed to beat CSKA for the third time this season?

- I want to again point out our netminder, and also our fourth line. They played great, and scored two goals.

- Was it easier without Alexander Radulov and Stephane Da Costa playing?

- It would have been easier to get pumped up if they had both taken part. When they are in the side, you know immediately that the game will be open and physical.

- Why are Dynamo Moscow such awkward opponents for you?

- Sometimes we don't have enough luck. The main matches are coming up, and I wouldn't say that CSKA will be more easy opponents in the play-offs.

- Do you all want to win the gold medals? This race could take too much energy out of the team.

- Yes, that's true, but our job is to go out and win. Home advantage in the play-offs is very important, and who knows, maybe first will play against second in the conference finals. Everyone's goal is to win the Gagarin Cup, but we won't say no to winning the gold medals too.

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