PREVIOUS MEETINGS DURING 2020/2021 REGULAR SEASON
16.10.2020. CSKA - SKA - 3:1 (Naumenkov 07:28, Okulov 37:54, 43:20; Marchenko 16:11)
22.12.2020. SKA - CSKA - 4:3 SO (Burdasov 02:32, Morozov 45:07, Marchenko 55:05, 65:00; Soshnikov 03:48, Okulov 58:33, Shalunov 59:08)
10.01.2021. SKA - CSKA - 2:3 OT (Kuzmenko 12:23, 28:41; Sergeev 23:21, Telegin 48:40, Okulov 42:55)
17.01.2021. CSKA - SKA - 3:1 (Leipsic 09:12, Okulov 38:36, Andronov 44:48; Galimov 42:40)
STANDINGS IN 2020/2021 REGULAR SEASON
1. CSKA, 34 regulation victories, 5 overtime victories, 4 penalty shootout victories, 12 regulation defeats, 3 overtime defeats, 2 penalty shootout defeats, goal difference 182-121, 91 points
6. SKA, 33 regulation victories, 2 overtime victories, 2 penalty shootout victories, 15 regulation defeats, 4 overtime defeats, 4 penalty shootout defeats, goal difference 178-126, 82 points
LEADING PLAYERS DURING FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF 2020/2021 GAGARIN CUP PLAYOFFS
Konstantin Okulov: 11 (3+8) points
Maxim Shalunov: 9 (5+4) points
Maxim Mamin: 7 (3+4) points
Brendan Leipsic: 5 (2+3) points
Andrei Loktionov: 5 (1+4) points
Emil Galimov: 8 (4+4) points
Vladimir Tkachyov: 8 (1+7) points
Andrei Kuzmenko: 6 (4+2) points
Joonas Kemppainen: 6 (3+3) points
Vasily Podkolzin: 6 (3+3) points
CSKA Moscow, who are still the reigning KHL Gagarin Cup champions from 2019 after the 2019/2020 campaign was cancelled as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been in typically consistent form throughout the season. After winning the regular season with a grand total of 91 points from 60 matches, the capital outfit subsequently made a confident start to the playoffs, easing past arch-rivals Spartak Moscow 4-0. However, the Army Men were given a stern test by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the second stage of the post-season, as they required seven games to eventually clinch the series 4-3 by winning the seventh match 2:0 at the CSKA Arena. Coached by Igor Nikitin, CSKA always play in accordance with their trademark aggressive, high-intensity approach, suffocating their opponents with compact play across the ice and rarely giving them any space in which to operate.
Their second line consisting of John Gilmour (1+1), Bogdan Kiselevich (0+0), Konstantin Okulov (3+9), Maxim Shalunov (5+4) and Maxim Mamin (3+4) has been particularly threatening in the playoffs so far, while solid goaltender Lars Johansson has stood out by tallying three shutouts. The experienced 33-year-old Swede is rightly considered as one of the most difficult goalkeepers to score against in the KHL.
34-year-old defenseman Mat Robinson (1+3) is a dangerous figure at the blue line for CSKA, especially on the powerplay.
SKA caught the eye in the second round against Dynamo Moscow. Initially, SKA did lose the first game 1:4 in Saint Petersburg, but after the management group made major changes to the line-up, our team went to confidently win the next four consecutive matches to comfortably qualify for the semi-finals by a score of 4-1. Reliable goalkeeper Magnus Hellberg was instrumental in SKA’s success, stopping 108 of the 111 Dynamo shots he faced and picking up two shutouts after breaking into the team in the second game.
Our players had defeated Dinamo Minsk 4-1 in what was a thoroughly entertaining first-round series.
This will be the seventh occasion when these two teams have met in the KHL playoffs. SKA progressed past CSKA in 2012 (4-1), 2014 (4-0) and 2015 (4-3), but the Muscovites did take the next three series 4-0 (2016), 4-2 (2018) and 4-3 (2019).
GOALKEEPING STATISTICS DURING FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF 2020/2021 GAGARIN CUP PLAYOFFS
Lars Johansson: 11 matches, 8 victories, 96.2%, 0.98, 3 shutouts
Alexander Samonov: 5 matches, 3 victories, 90.7%, 2.66
Magnus Hellberg: 5 matches, 5 victories, 95.3%, 1.16, 2 shutouts
April 2, 4: Moscow
April 6, 8: Saint Petersburg
April 10: Moscow*
April 12: Saint Petersburg*
April 14: Moscow*