SKA completed this KHL away series with a match against HC Sochi. Head coach Oleg Znarok made a few changes to the line-up, notably bringing previously injured captain Pavel Datsyuk into the squad. Mikko Koskinen and Dmitry Shikin were the starting goaltenders.
Our players made a confident start in Sochi, immediately taking the game to the hosts. Alexander Barabanov had a perfect opportunity to open the scoring, but he failed to squeeze his effort past Dmitry Shikin when clean through. In a dramatic turn of events, Sochi were suddenly gifted with a two man advantage. SKA managed to confidently kill those penalties though, with Alexei Tsvetkov missing Sochi's best chance at point blank range.
The game opened up in the second stanza. Unfortunately, Sochi managed to draw first blood in the match, SKA's defence forget all about Vadim Khlopotov, who lashed into the right corner when 1 on 1. Nevertheless, SKA had a response just three minutes later. On a timely powerplay, Ilya Kovalchuk hammered a one timer beyond Dmitry Shikin's glove. Jarno Koskiranta and Nikolai Prokhorkin had great chances to give SKA a lead, but both failed to beat the goaltender.
SKA held the initiative in the decisive third period. Evgeny Ketov was gifted with a superb chance to give our team a vital lead, shooting against an opponent's leg when faced with a gaping net to aim at. Sadly, with just five minutes remaining, Sochi struck the crucial blow. Former SKA forward Ivan Larichev scored from the slot, sealing Sochi's 2:1 victory. SKA's next match will take place on December 19 against Dinamo Minsk in Saint Petersburg.
HC Sochi - SKA - 2:1 (0:0, 1:1, 1:0)
1:0 Khlopotov, 27.05
1:1 Kovalchuk (Voynov, Datsyuk), 30.37
2:1 Larichev (Khokhlov, Padakin), 54.47
Goalkeepers: Shikin - Koskinen
Shots on target: 28 - 42
Penalty minutes: 8 - 6
Faceoffs: 30 - 28
Hits: 8 - 7
Referees: Gashilov, Gofman