In a tense, tight encounter, SKA emerged victorious by a slender score of 1:0 against Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg on the road in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season.
Avtomobilist competed with the initiative during the first period, in particular earning two powerplays. In one incident, it seemed a certain goal for Avtomobilist, with SKA goaltender Lars Johansson down and out after making the initial save. However, displaying fantastic commitment, defenseman Nikita Kamalov came to the rescue by pulling off a stunning block at point-blank range to somehow keep the puck out.
SKA eventually made the breakthrough midway through the second period.
Kirill Marchenko powered to the slot with intent, his ensuing effort was blocked, but Daniil Pylenkov was on hand to gather the rebound and force it over the line from a tight angle on the left flank. In charge of proceedings, SKA were certainly the more dangerous team during the frame, pressing Avtomobilist and wasting a number of excellent opportunities.
Avtomobilist thought that they had tallied their equaliser with a little less than half of the third period remaining.
Stephane Da Costa had sent an unstoppable backhander over Johansson's blocker from the high slot. But, to our relief, the goal was disallowed as a consequence of offside following a coach's challenge.
Avtomobilist did swap goaltender Dmitry Shikin for the extra skater in the closing minutes, but to no avail as SKA confidently held on.
SKA will now prepare to face Traktor in Chelyabinsk on Wednesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 17:00 Moscow time.
Avtomobilist - SKA - 0:1 (0:0, 0:1, 0:0)
0:1 Pylenkov (Marchenko, Volkov), 30.10
Goalkeepers: Shikin - Johansson
Shots on target: 21 - 22
Faceoffs: 25 - 16
Hits: 18 - 9
Blocked shots: 15 - 16
Penalty minutes: 4 - 4
Referees: Kulakov, Romasko