In Saint Petersburg, SKA took on HC Spartak Moscow for the second match of this home run. Head coach Oleg Znarok changed the team around for this game, especially given that young forward Mikhail Maltsev had joined the junior Russian national side. Mikko Koskinen and Nikita Bespalov were the starting goaltenders.
Just like against Dinamo Riga, it was a slow start inside the Ice Palace. Spartak were happy to wait for the odd counterattack opportunity, while SKA failed to get anything going in the opposing zone. Maxim Karpov had SKA's best chance, but he couldn't slide the puck under Nikita Bespalov when clean through. Mikko Koskinen was surprisingly the busier goaltender during the period, pulling off a few smart saves against Dmitry Kalinin efforts.
Little changed in the second period. Our players barely had a sniff of the Spartak goal, as the visitors managed to comfortably keep them on the outside. Unfortunately, it was Spartak who eventually made the breakthrough. Ex SKA forward Alexander Khokhlachyov escaped his marker, found himself 1 on 1, and beat Mikko Koskinen with a neat backhander. Nevertheless, SKA found an instant response within a minute. Waiting on the crease, Viktor Tikhonov thrashed a one timer into the net following a flowing move. 1:1 after forty minutes.
The momentum should have been with SKA, but Spartak hadn't read the script. Alexander Dergachyov, who also used to play for SKA, fooled Mikko Koskinen with a weak wrister form distance. This time, SKA couldn't mount a comeback. Spartak refused to let our team near their crease, protecting goalkeeper Nikita Bespalov. Maxim Trunyov secured Spartak's victory late on, scoring 1 on 1. 1:3 at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace, SKA drop the first regulation defeat of the 2017/2018 KHL season.
SKA - Spartak - 1:3 (0:0, 1:1, 0:2)
0:1 Khokhlachyov (Dergachyov, Kalinin), 35.11
1:1 Tikhonov (Kablukov, Rykov), 35.55
1:2 Dergachyov (Pepelyaev, Osipov), 40.59
1:3 Trunyov, 54.43
Goalkeepers: Koskinen - Bespalov
Shots on target: 28 - 20
Penalty minutes: 8 - 8
Faceoffs: 28 - 35
Hits: 16 - 7
Referees: Belyaev, Frano
02.11.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.