Game three of the 2016/2017 KHL playoffs second round series between SKA and HC Dynamo Moscow took place in Moscow. Head coach Oleg Znarok made a couple of changes, notably installing defenseman Patrik Hersley into the third line. Mikko Koskinen and Alexander Yeryomenko were the starting goaltenders.
Inside a packed VTB Arena, Dynamo came flying out of the blocks. Unfortunately, it took them just three minutes to make their advantage count. Yakov Rylov powered down to the crease, our defensemen lost sight of him and the Dynamo man lashed beyond a helpless Mikko Koskinen. Oleg Znarok demanded a video review for offside, but it was determined that Dynamo’s goal was perfectly legal. Rocked by that marker, SKA took a while to get going, failing to create anything in Dynamo’s zone. However, out of the blue, we got back on level terms. Jarno Koskiranta was ignored on the left wing, Sergei Plotnikov found him and the Finn calmly hit the target – 1:1. That goal gave SKA real confidence, with our players beginning to control possession a lot better.
SKA continued pressing in the second stanza, largely keeping the puck away from Dynamo. Nevertheless, the hosts were dangerous on the counterattack, threatening to punish our players for lapses in concentration. The match truly burst into life during the closing stages of the frame. Dynamo grabbed their second lead, and it came in unbelievable circumstances: Andrei Kuteikin, who had scored from the red line in game two, repeated on the trick on poor Mikko Koskinen – 1:2. Frustrated by that freak goal, Pavel Datsyuk landed a dirty hit on Dynamo’s Alexei Tsvetkov, earning himself a rare 5+20 penalty. Dynamo forward Lukas Kaspar promptly got a 5+20 too though, making SKA’s task somewhat easier.
Alexei Tereshchenko immediately hooked at the start of the third, gifting SKA a five on three. Predictably, our players made full use of the opportunity. Vadim Shipachyov peeled to the right, lost his marker and went top shelf. SKA weren’t finished their either, as seconds later, Evgeny Dadonov deflected in Anton Belov’s harmless wrister to give SKA a precious lead.
The drama kept on coming, as Alexander Dergachyov was then given the match’s third 5+20 for boarding. SKA managed to keep Dynamo out this time though, killing that penalty and scoring an empty netter through Ilya Kovalchuk in the final minutes! 4:2, SKA move ahead in the series 2:1.
Dynamo Moscow – SKA – 2:4 (1:1, 1:0, 0:3)
1:0 Rylov (Kokarev, Gorovikov), 03.35
1:1 Koskiranta (Plotnikov), 09.43
2:1 Kuteikin, 34.17
2:2 Shipachyov (Dadonov, Gusev), 40.28
2:3 Dadonov (Belov, Gusev), 42.49
2:4 Kovalchuk (Yakovlev), 58.27
Goalkeepers: Yeryomenko – Koskinen
Shots on target: 18 – 21
Penalty minutes: 35 – 54
Faceoffs: 38 – 36
Hits: 24 – 25
Referees: Olenin, Bondar
12.03.2017. VTB Ice Palace, Moscow.