The two KHL teams that made up almost the entirety of Russia’s gold medal-winning Olympic roster ended their conference final battle with a Game 6 overtime classic. CSKA Moscow delivered the relative upset victory over the superteam SKA St. Petersburg in the 3-2 sudden death win.
And while I don’t expect any Americans to be massively invested in either of these narratives with the NHL playoffs just a few days away, former Red Wing superhero Pavel Datsyuk got absolutely robbed in OT on what looked to be a surefire winning opportunity. Just look at the mouthwateringly wide-open net in the still above. But CSKA goalie Lars Johansson somehow got a leg out to stop the would-be rebound winner.
Three minutes later, Mikhail Grigorenko scored the winner.
So CSKA advances to a finals match-up with Ak Bars Kazan. And for NHL fans, the unexpectedly early ending to St. Petersburg’s season means that SKA’s Ilya Kovalchuk is immediately free to look into a long-rumored return to America. Since “retiring” and leaving his massive contract with the New Jersey Devils in 2013, Kovalchuk has torn up his native league and now says he’s ready to return to the NHL. Conveniently, the Devils will no longer have his NHL rights once Kovalchuk turns 35 next week. As an unrestricted free agent, all the signs are pointing to a contract for Kovalchuk with the New York Rangers.