In Nizhny Novgorod, SKA took on HC Torpedo for the first KHL away match of the 2017/2018 season. Head coach Oleg Znarok kept Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Sergei Plotnikov in the first line togther, while Andrei Altybarmakyan made his debut in the fourth. Mikko Koskinen and Stanislav Galimov were the starting netminders.
Unfortunately, SKA's Maxim Chudinov earned himself a 5+20 penalty in the early stages. Torpedo didn't score during those ensuing five minutes, but Vyacheslav Kulyomin netted on the slot when both teams were at full strength. Nevertheless, SKA levelled the score on the powerplay, with Alexander Barabanov tipping in.
Buoyed by that goal, our players began dominating in the second frame. Ilya Kovalchuk made our advantage count, thumping in a powerful slap shot from the blue line. Torpedo were coming under serious pressure, but their goalkeeper Stanislav Galimov somehow managed to keep the hosts in the game.
The true drama began in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk made it 3:1 as he caught out the goaltender after swinging from behind the net, a goal which forced Torpedo into pulling Stanislav Galimov for Ivan Lisutin. Sadly, that change proved to be the turning point. Denis Barantsev and Georgy Stolyarov scored late goals, in turn forcing overtime.
SKA killed off a penalty in the overtime frame, taking the match all the way to penalty shots. Igor Shestyorkin took his place between the pipes for the shootout, and it's a decision which was key. Sergei Shirokov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Nikita Gusev hit the net, sealing a thrilling 4:3 SKA victory in Nizhny Novgorod!
Torpedo - SKA - 3:4 SO (1:1, 0:1, 2:1, 0:0, - 0:1)
1:0 Kulyomin (Alyaev, Veryaev), 11.01
1:1 Barabanov (Yakovlev, Karpov), 15.45
1:2 Kovalchuk, 29.19
1:3 Datsyuk (Hersley, Gusev), 48.29
2:3 Barantsev (Jeglic, Dugin), 52.26
3:3 Stolyarov (Parshin), 56.29
3:4 Gusev, 65.00
Goalkeepers: Galimov/Lisutin - Koskinen/Shestyorkin
Shots on target: 22 - 35
Penalty minutes: 14 - 35
Faceoffs: 25 - 41
Hits: 12 - 12
Referees: Morozov, Ravodin
02.09.2017. Nizhny Novgorod.