In Moscow, SKA began the final KHL away series of 2017 with a match against arch rivals HC Dynamo. Head coach Oleg Znarok put Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexander Barabanov in the first line together, keeping Mikko Koskinen between the pipes. Alexander Yeryomenko was Dynamo’s starting goaltender.
As usual, an intimidating atmosphere welcomed SKA inside Moscow’s VTB Ice Palace. Nevertheless, our players immediately managed to take the initiative. In the first period alone, SKA registered 24 shots compared to Dynamo’s five. David Rundblad had the best chance, cutting to the slot wonderfully and backhanding into Alexander Yeryomenko. At the other end, Dynamo rarely troubled Mikko Koskinen, but they had an ideal opportunity to open the scoring against the run of play. Dmitry Kazionov suddenly found himself clean through, but Mikko Koskinen shut the door with a superb pad save.
SKA finally took full control of proceedings in the second stanza. Yegor Yakovlev broke the deadlock when scoring at point blank range, before Anton Belov’s driven wrister was too hot for Alexander Yeryomenko to handle. In the mood for more, SKA continued laying siege to the Dynamo net. Struggling to get out of their own zone, the hosts contrived to concede two more in the period. Nikita Gusev made it three, sending a powerful one timer into the net on the powerplay. With the frame drawing to a close, the same player increased the lead to 4:0, beautifully backhanding under the goaltender’s pads.
Despite the large score, Dynamo came out fighting in the third period. Unfortunately, their pressing resulted in a goal. Former SKA forward Evgeny Artyukhin took aim with a sharp wrister, catching Mikko Koskinen cold. SKA’s Finnish Wall was a busy man as time ticked down, pulling off a number of fantastic saves. In the end, SKA had the last say. Alexander Barabanov’s pass was deflected in by a Dynamo defenseman, sealing SKA’s emphatic 5:1 triumph against HC Dynamo Moscow!
Dynamo Moscow – SKA – 1:5 (0:0, 0:4, 1:1)
0:1 Yakovlev (Kalinin, Gusev), 22.37
0:2 Belov (Shirokov, Plotnikov), 25.16
0:3 Gusev (Kovalchuk), 36.04
0:4 Gusev (Karpov), 37.18
1:4 Artyukhin (Sopin, Kuteikin), 46.17
1:5 Barabanov, 59.29
Goalkeepers: Yeryomenko – Koskinen
Shots on target: 24 – 52
Faceoffs: 33 – 24
Hits: 18 – 10
Penalty minutes: 8 – 2
Referees: Naumov, Olenin
23.12.2017. VTB Ice Palace, Moscow.