SKA returned to Saint Petersburg for a KHL match against HC Avangard Omsk. Following the thrilling game with CSKA on Monday, head coach Oleg Znarok kept the team largely the same. Igor Shestyorkin was our starting netminder, while Dominik Furch was between Avangard's pipes.
Hungry to grab a third consecutive victory, SKA opened the scoring early in the first period. On a powerplay, Pavel Datsyuk sent a magical pass across the slot, allowing Sergei Plotnikov to fire into the unguarded right corner. However, to the Ice Palace's shock, Avangard hit right back. Our defence lost concentration, giving Czech forward Vladimir Sobotka the simple task of sliding into a gaping net. After that nasty surprise, SKA piled forward searching for a response, registering twelve shots on target in the period. Eventually, the pressure told - with another man's advantage, Vadim Shipachyov cleared up the loose change on the slot.
Holding the momentum, our players continued playing with the initiative. Despite conceding two powerplay goals already, Avangard hadn't learnt their lesson - Nikolai Lemtyugov was called for hooking, gifting SKA a chance to double the lead. Ilya Kovalchuk made full use of the opportunity, blasting a rocket under the goalkeeper's glove. Things were about to go from bad to worse for Avangard, as they promptly conceded a fourth - sniffing around for scraps, Viktor Tikhonov batted a loose puck over the line. Predictably, that signalled the end for Dominik Furch, being pulled in favour of Oleg Shilin.
Nevertheless, Avangard weren't prepared to fly the white flag. Out of the blue, Nikolai Lemtyugov made amends for his earlier foul with an odd man rush goal, before Vladimir Sobotka netted his second on an Avangard powerplay. All of a sudden, the visitors were back to within one goal.
SKA had to do something to change the tide. Thankfully, a fifth goal did just that. Hanging at the blue line, Maxim Chudinov let a cannon go, almost breaking the net in the process. That was the final event of note, SKA make it three wins on the bounce with a 5:3 triumph over Avangard Omsk!
SKA - Avangard - 5:3 (2:1, 2:2, 1:0)
1:0 Plotnikov (Kovalchuk, Datsyuk), 03.03
1:1 Sobotka (Perezhogin, Lemtyugov), 04.03
2:1 Shipachyov (Gusev, Kovalchuk), 07.19
3:1 Kovalchuk (Gusev, Shipachyov), 26.42
4:1 Tikhonov (Prokhorkin, Ketov), 28.36
4:2 Lemtyugov (Perezhogin, Sobotka), 31.22
4:3 Sobotka (Gustafsson, Menshikov), 36.02
5:3 Chudinov (Datsyuk, Plotnikov), 49.53
Goalkeepers: Shestyorkin - Furch/Shilin
Shots on target: 39 - 26
Penalty minutes: 10 - 8
Faceoffs: 54 - 13
Hits: 10 - 11
Referees: Naumov, Olenin
11.01.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.