In Kazakhstan, SKA extended the 2018/2019 KHL winning streak to five matches, defeating HC Barys Astana 3:2 in a tense encounter.
Swedish goalkeeper Magnus Hellberg was a busy man throughout, but thanks to a superb performance on the powerplay, SKA edged a tight match and continue to occupy first place in the KHL regular season standings.
Just one minute into the match, Barys forward Andre Petersson found space in the SKA zone and beat Magnus Hellberg. SKA were on the back foot, but after Nail Yakupov equalised with a deflected effort from long range, Pavel Datsyuk completed a flowing play when on the man advantage to gift SKA a 2:1 advantage.
On a long five minute powerplay, SKA then increased the lead to two in the second stanza, with Nail Yakupov making no mistake on the doorstep. Our players were in full control of proceedings, but on a powerplay of their own, Barys halved their deficit with a powerful attempt from defenseman Darren Dietz.
As expected, Barys piled on the pressure in the third period, pressing hard in the attacking zone and testing Magnus Hellberg on a regular basis. Nevertheless, SKA showed their strength, holding on for dear life to clinch a 3:2 triumph at the Barys Arena!
Barys - SKA - 2:3 (1:2, 1:1, 0:0)
1:0 Petersson (Starchenko, Cormier), 01.18
1:1 Yakupov (Rundblad, Koskiranta), 11.35
1:2 Datsyuk (Barabanov, Gusev), 16.32
1:3 Yakupov (Gusev, Datsyuk), 23.08
2:3 Dietz (Frattin), 31.33
Goalkeepers: Karlsson - Hellberg
Shots on target: 34 - 20
Faceoffs: 24 - 31
Hits: 14 - 26
Penalty minutes: 31 - 8
Referees: Gusev, Olenin