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SKA - CSKA. Press-conference of game five

Roman RotenbergCSKAPress-conferencePlayoffsGagarin CupSKA - CSKA - 100422
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- We are playing against a very strong opponent. This was a really important match for us, and the guys did a good job. They played with commitment, as a united group and blocked plenty of pucks. Everyone played for the benefit of the team. However, our work continues, we understand that we can play better. We will now prepare for the next game.

- Oscar Fantenberg, who scored your winning goal today, has been receiving a lot of minutes on the ice recently. Has his role within the team changed?

- We are always searching for the keys to victory. Oscar is a leader of our team, and we know that we can surprise the opponents. We're constantly working in order to improve. Just like the rest of our players, we are counting on Oscar.

- Did CSKA surprise you with their line changes? Given that your three goals were scored in the closing stages of the three periods, did you find CSKA's weaknesses during the game?

- We are always focused on our own performance level. We know that we can improve, crash the net harder and take more shots and responsibility. This is a battle, new things are always occurring. The match dictates its own scenario. The opponents didn't surprise us. We know that there will probably be further changes, so we are not relaxing at all.

SKA - CSKA. Press-conference of game five

- At times, CSKA pinned SKA deep inside the defensive zone. Do you have improvements to make in terms of the players' physical condition?

- This is down to tactics. We are well prepared physically, we improved towards the end of each period today. Nevertheless, there are details which require improvement. We can improve in terms of our physical play against CSKA's players.

- During the match, you put Andrei Kuzmenko back in a line with Anton Burdasov.

- We are looking at different line options, taking every shift into account. We will analyse what happened today and make decisions for the next game. We're counting on our leading players, we want to take advantage of more of our scoring opportunities. We have to shoot more, you can't score if you don't take shots. It's tough to break down the opponents' tight defence, but we will overcome these difficulties. We can qualify for our first KHL Gagarin Cup final since 2017? We are only focused on the next game which we need to win.

- Why have you replaced Mikko Lehtonen with Fantenberg in your first powerplay unit?

- We are acting in accordance with the situation on the ice, the game dictates its own scenario. Oscar played really well when Lehtonen was injured. Mikko is also a dangerous player, though, and we have two very strong powerplay units. We have a level team overall, any player can score goals. Everyone works hard both in defence and attack. For us, the key is to find the way to win.

- Before this game, you had won seven second periods on the bounce. Why was the second frame of today's match so challenging for SKA?

- The opponents were very aggressive in the second period, they also understood the situation. We lost a lot of energy there. We can improve, we're well aware of that. We will make changes to our approach during our training sessions.

- Danila Moiseev worked really hard on the crease for your team.

- In ice hockey, it's crucial to win the battles on the crease at both ends of the ice. Just like the rest of our team, Danila is working hard to win the duels. In the playoffs, vital goals are scored on the slot. There's no point playing in the corners, you have to get the puck on net.

- At critical moments, you are speaking to the players when standing along the bench, not behind it. This is something which Soviet coaches used to do.

- These things happen intuitively. Nonetheless, I have been involved in ice hockey for the whole of my life, I've taken elements of the approach used by Viktor Tikhonov and Vladimir Yurzinov, for example. We're learning from the best. I would like to thank our fans for their support, their energy gave us strength. This win is down to the efforts of our supporters and our team.

HC CSKA Moscow head coach Sergei Fyodorov:

- It was a good, quick game which was full of dynamic ice hockey. We have to work on our discipline, penalties are a part of the game. The guys responded to our wishes, we played in the correct manner and twice had the lead. We will continue working hard, this series has only become more interesting. We haven't made our task easier, but we played well today.

- You made a lot of changes to the line-up. Did they help you in this match?

- We liked what we saw. We played in the right way today, so we will focus on the positives. Our way of ice hockey brings positive results.

- How does Andrei Svetlakov feel? He scored your two goals today, but then he subsequently took the decisive penalty in the closing stages of the third period.

- Andrei feels fine, this isn't his first season as a professional player.

- For the first time in these playoffs, you are on the verge of being knocked out.

- We are not focusing on such things. We will now rest and prepare for the next game, it's an important one for us. If we achieve the required result, we will return to Saint Petersburg and finish the series in the right way.

- Did you put an emphasis on playing well in the second period? This was surely your best second frame of the series to date.

- Yes, today's second period was contested in a completely different manner, I think that it was one of our best second stanzas.

- Have you spoken with Svetlakov following the deciding penalty which he took in the third period?

- No, there is no reason to speak with Andrei about that. It's not a mistake from him, it is down to emotions. Ice hockey is always full of emotions.

- The next game could be decisive for CSKA. Will you give your players additional motivation?

- We will analyse the aspects of the game which require improvement.

- Alexander Popov's line is in great form, but the same can't be said for your leading players. Do you have a plan concerning the remainder of this series?

- We always have a plan. We will now travel back to Moscow and analyse this match, we'll be prepared for Tuesday.

- You are barely drawing any penalties out of SKA, whereas your players are regularly committing fouls.

- This means that we aren't organised enough to avoid taking penalties.

- Why did you leave John Gilmour out of the line-up?

- We decided that this line-up was optimal for this game. I think that the guys coped with their task, let's see what happens in the next match.

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