Following a five day break, SKA returned to KHL action with an away match against HC Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Head coach Oleg Znarok kept Sergei Plotnikov in the first line with Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk, while Mikko Koskinen returned to be back-up goaltender. Igor Shestyorkin and Alexei Murygin were the starting netminders.
With Lokomotiv in the middle of a four game losing streak, the Yaroslavl outfit begun strongly. SKA struggled during the early stages, as our players were forced to soak up Lokomotiv pressure. Unfortunately, the hosts made their dominance count on four minutes. Vladislav Kartaev burst between the SKA defence, took aim and whipped an attempt past Igor Shestyorkin. SKA were on the back foot, but our team grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. Nikita Gusev peeled beyond his markers, cut to the backhand and slotted into the right corner. With the period drawing to a close, Ilya Kovalchuk smashed in a one timer to give SKA a vital 2:1 lead.
Nikita Gusev increased SKA's advantage at the start of the second period, completing a beautiful play with Nikolai Prokhorkin. Down by two, Lokomotiv threw everything at SKA. Igor Shestyorkin was on top form though, denying the home team with a few alert saves. Lokomotiv were pressing, but on the powerplay, SKA scored a fourth. Nikita Gusev's pass across the crease was deflected in by a Lokomotiv defenseman, in turn sealing his hat trick.
Amazingly, Nikita Gusev netted his fourth goal in the third frame. Alexander Barabanov found himself on a breakaway, he picked out Nikita Gusev, and the latter calmly stroked the puck into the net. That marker signalled the end of Alexei Murygin's game, with Alexander Sudnitsin replacing him. Sergei Plotnikov completed the victory late on, tipping in on another powerplay. 6:1, SKA beat Lokomotiv and make it seventeen victories in a row!
Lokomotiv - SKA - 1:6 (1:2, 0:2, 0:2)
1:0 Kartaev (Averin, Apalkov), 04.30
1:1 Gusev (Rykov, Barabanov), 16.49
1:2 Kovalchuk (Datsyuk, Voynov), 19.37
1:3 Gusev (Prokhorkin), 21.46
1:4 Gusev (Datsyuk, Kovalchuk), 38.41
1:5 Gusev (Zub, Barabanov), 41.41
1:6 Plotnikov (Kovalchuk, Karpov), 53.34
Goalkeepers: Murygin/Sudnitsin - Shestyorkin
Shots on target: 37 - 31
Penalty minutes: 10 - 8
Faceoffs: 30 - 32
Hits: 16 - 13
Referees: Jerabek, Fateev