In a memorable battle, SKA launched a three-goal comeback against HC Kunlun Red Star in the concluding away match of the 2020/2021 KHL regular season, claiming a thrilling 4:3 triumph at the Arena Mytishchi.
SKA initially made a positive start in Moscow Region. Immediately taking the initiative, our players quickly began attacking hard, with Evgeny Timkin striking the left post and Artyom Nikolaev regularly testing opposing goalkeeper Dmitry Shikin.
However, with their maiden opportunity of the game, Kunlun suddenly took an unexpected lead as Gleb Shashkov deflected the puck past Magnus Hellberg. Unfortunately for our team, matters worsened in the 16th minute of play, with Casey Wellman going top-shelf on Hellberg when shooting from the doorstep.
The manner of proceedings didn’t change in the second stanza.
Requiring goals, SKA pressed Kunlun and managed to create a handful of promising opportunities, but the home team were dealing successfully with our advances. Stepan Starkov, Lukas Bengtsson and Malte Stromwall all should have hit the jackpot, but they couldn’t get the better of Shikin from close range.
Unfortunately, the visitors were promptly made to pay for their profligacy towards the end of the period, as Spencer Foo fired over Hellberg’s glove when presented witb an odd-man rush. Two cheap penalties subsequently gifted Kunlun a 5-on-3 powerplay for the start of the third frame.
Nevertheless, after our players successfully killed those ensuing two minutes in the third period, they embarked on a scintillating comeback.
Stromwall got it started in the 45th minute as he thumped an unstoppable wrister under Shikin’s glove. All of a sudden, SKA began playing with confidence and power, quickly grabbing a second just 30 seconds later as Kirill Marchenko knocked the loose puck over the line following Arseniy Brinkman’s strong shot from the point.
SKA applied overwhelming pressure on Kunlun throughout the remainder of the frame. With the minutes running down, Kunlun could almost see the finish line, but SKA did tally their craved equaliser in the 56th minute when the in-form Stromwall completed a flowing move on the powerplay with a thunderous one-timer.
Incredibly, with a mere 16 seconds remaining on the clock, Marchenko beat Shikin from point-blank range after receiving an intelligent pass from Vladimir Tkachyov to give SKA a memorable triumph in Mytishchi!
SKA will now prepare to host Dinamo Minsk in Saint Petersburg on Thursday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
Kunlun Red Star - SKA - 3:4 (2:0, 1:0, 0:4)
1:0 Shashkov (Nikolishin, Chelios), 03.36
2:0 Wellman (Shinkaruk, Werek), 15.56
3:0 Foo, 37.35
3:1 Stromwall, 44.38
3:2 Marchenko (Brinkman, Aaltonen), 45.08
3:3 Stromwall (Marchenko, Vey), 55.08
3:4 Marchenko (Kirsanov, Tkachyov), 59.44
Goalkeepers: Shikin - Hellberg
Shots on target: 20 - 33
Faceoffs: 18 - 20
Hits: 6 - 18
Penalty minutes: 2 - 8
Referees: Kulyov, Yudakov
22.02.2021. Arena Mytishchi, Mytishchi.