SKA continued this KHL road trip with a match against HC Ak Bars in Kazan. Head coach Oleg Znarok decided to put Ilya Kovalchuk, Vadim Shipachyov and Patrick Thoresen in the first line together, keeping Mikko Koskinen between the pipes. Emil Garipov was Ak Bars' starting goaltender.
Our players made a fast start in Kazan, scoring within the opening three minutes. Patrick Thoresen found the open Vadim Shipachyov with a superb pass, who lashed into the gaping net. That goal gave SKA the intiaitive in the match, with our team going on to have the majority of goalscoring opportunities. Maxim Karpov should have doubled SKA's money, but he contrived to shoot into Emil Garipov's glove when clean through. Stanislav Galiev was Ak Bars' most dangerous playing, as he forced Mikko Koskinen into a few tricky stops.
The second period saw SKA continue to boast the lion's share of possession. Midway through the frame, SKA made it 2:0 when Sergei Plotnikov wristed under the goalkeeper's blocker 1 on 1. Our team were in control, but Ak Bars suddenly got back into the match. Vladimir Tkachyov made it a one goal game, thumping a slap shot into the right corner on the powerplay. Unfortunately, a poor defensive mistake then resulted in Anton Lander equalising with a skillful backhand attempt at point blank range. 2:2 after forty minutes.
Nevertheless, SKA didn't let that setback affect the team. SKA were completely dominant in the crucial third period, registering an impressive ten shots on target compared to Ak Bars' three. Home goaltender Emil Garipov refused to be beaten though, pulling off a number of difficult saves as SKA piled on the pressure. A decent chance fell to Anton Belov, but he smacked a strong wrist shot into the goalkeeper's pads.
It went to overtime, where SKA eventually scored the winning goal. Patrik Hersley backhanded beyond Emil Garipov's glove, sealing a dramatic 3:2 victory against Ak Bars Kazan!
Ak Bars - SKA - 2:3 OT (0:1, 2:1, 0:0, 0:1)
0:1 Shipachyov (Thoresen, Kovalchuk), 03.14
0:2 Plotnikov (Belov), 29.13
1:2 Tkachyov (Markov), 30.15
2:2 Lander (Galiev), 33.42
2:3 Hersley (Plotnikov), 63.42
Goalkeepers: Garipov - Koskinen
Shots on target: 26 - 35
Penalty minutes: 4 - 8
Faceoffs: 21 - 25
Hits: 9 - 9
Referees: Naumov, Jerabek