Zakhar Bardakov and Vladislav Tsitsyura speak after the fifth match against CSKA
HC SKA forward Zakhar Bardakov:
- It was a good match which was played at a high pace with lots of battles. The teams had a lot of scoring opportunities. We have finally taken the lead in the series with our late goal in the third period, we will now travel to Moscow in order to close it out with a victory.
- Why did you leave for the dressing room during the match?
- I had taken a blow across the boards which I needed to recover from.
- Talk us through the first goal for SKA which you contributed for.
- We had fought for the puck in the corner, before passing it to a defenseman who took one of the opponents' players towards him. I think that Igor Ozhiganov passed it to Alexander Volkov, who then found Tsitsyura who tried to score from the slot. Everyone fought for it, and Volkov managed to gather it and score from behind the net.
- How has your task on the ice changed since being moved up to the first line?
- I've already played with the likes of Anton Burdasov, Andrei Kuzmenko, Evgeny Timkin and Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi. Everything is normal, but my task is a little different as I am playing in the first line. We need to create chances while not conceding goals at the other end.
- You are having a lot of 1-on-1 opportunities against CSKA, but you are yet to take advantage of them.
- I tried to shoot under the arm in the last game, but my shot was saved. I aimed higher up today, however the puck didn't go in again. It's good that other players are managing to score our goals. I will try to use my chances in the next match, it's time that I scored.
- Did SKA make an improvement at the end of each period?
- Every game lasts 60 minutes, and each period consists of 20 minutes. We have to fight hard on the ice. We found it difficult towards the middle of today's game, CSKA pressed us. But, we subsequently managed to change the flow of play and start attacking their net. Everyone is saying that second periods are key for us, but we are playing well in all frames.
HC SKA forward Vladislav Tsitsyura:
- It's good that our special teams worked today, they are crucial in the playoffs. When the score was 2:2, the game depended on the next goal. That's exactly what happened. We will now prepare for the next match, but first of all we have to calm down after giving a lot of emotions in this game. Hopefully, everything will be fine for us in Moscow.
- Vladislav, it was a fantastic performance from you. Did you follow the game plan in full?
- Our plan is always to display our best ice hockey. In the playoffs, everyone wants to contribute to the team's victories. I am giving my best in every shift, every period, every game. Perhaps I played well today. On Tuesday, I want to play just as well, or for any one of my teammates to play a key role. The most important thing is the team's win.
- Let's talk about SKA's first goal.
- We knew that CSKA's penalty was ending. When receiving the puck, I decided to take it to the net, and in the end we scored an important goal to go into the maiden break on level terms.
- SKA have taken the series lead for the first time.
- Every game is important psychologically. Given the series score, I think that we are feeling better psychologically than CSKA. We will make the trip to Moscow in a positive frame of mind. We have to give everything in the next game.
- Did SKA improve towards the end of each period?
- We try to play excellent ice hockey from the first to the last second of every period. Naturally, sometimes this isn't always possible. In any case, it's always good when you can play well in the closing shifts of a frame, we always try to do this.