Former Rangers combine efforts' in Dinamo's win
Game Recap: Dinamo - SKA
Dinamo scored 3 power-play goals on six occasions to prevail against SKA in season opener.
Moscovits' captain Alex Savchenkov scored twice with man advantage, while 17-year old sensation Alexander Ovechkin added another power play tally. Former Ranger and Oiler Vladimir Vorobiev scored game's only even-strenght goal at 2:47 of the second period. Defenceman Vyacheslav Zavalnyuk got SKA lone goal.
The home side took the lead 5:34 into the opening period. While Chicago's prospect Dmitry Levinsky was in the box, Ovechkin converted a perfectly timed pass from Dmitry Starostenko.
Early in the second period Dinamo's new signing Alexander Golts missed a wide-open net from in close. However, soon after Vorobiev got, what turned on to be, a game winning goal. Dinamo forward took a shot from difficult angle
and stunned SKA netminder Sergei Naumov as the puck went in between the pads.
The visitors came back within a goal with a power play tally, but six minutes later Dinamo scored in five-on-three situation. Savchenkov added fourth and final goal early in the final period.
Nikolai Puchkov's side imposed high tempo over the first two periods and in fractions of the third. Despite loosing the match Saint-Petersburg side played a bit more attractive than the winners. Smallish SKA forwards combined
extremely well in offense, but where out of luck missing the net from great slots on several opportunities and hitting couple of posts. Meantime Zinetula Belyaletdinov's squad cashed in on almost every opportunity. While Moscovits
looked well organized with special teams, they were clearly loosing against opposition in speed while playing five-on-five. Dinamo's goalie (another former Ranger) Vitaly Eremeev was rightly picked player of the game as he managed to cover up for his defencemen lapses with style.
Chicago's prospect Dmitry Levinsky was arguably SKA best forward. He worked well on his strength over the summer and improved on using his speed the best way possible. This season may become a breakthrough for 21-year old winger.
Dinamo's Alex Ovechkin got significant ice-time playing on a line with vets (Alexander) Semak and Starostenko. A 6-1/200 pd. future star once again displayed his huge potential. Besides scoring game's first goal, he drew a decisive penalty that resolved in Dinamo's third goal. Like a well known denome Kovalchuk did at same age, Ovechkin doesn't shy away from physical game, willingly drives to the net and finds well open spaces around the slot. Despite young age he uses his speed wisely. The early knock on him these days - inconsistency. Tends to disappear for stretches, albeit only when playing against men. Surely Ovechkin has a few problems in his own end - where, suprisingly under the sight of Belyaletdinov, he seems uninterested in back-checking. While others work, Ovechkin often prefers to ride the blue line in anticipation of the rush. Albeit, sometimes (but rather rarely - probably after coaching tirades) he's the first guy down there working hard in the corners, fighting for the puck and keeping an eye on his man. That leaves to believe that Ovechkin has a great two-way upside.
Thrasher's prospect Ilya Nikulin overall had a steady game playing along side ex-Bolt Andrei Skopintsev. But he was cut on couple of occasions trying to play the puck instead of taking his man out.
The up-coming 2003 draft prospects Alexander Yunkov and Igor Mirnov weren't impressive despite playing along side former Leaf Alexei Kudashov. While Canuck's Konstantin Mikhailov didn't have much ice time.
-- Max Dostoevsky