In the concluding match of the latest road trip in the 2020/2021 KHL regular season, SKA calmly dealt with the challenge posed by Metallurg Magnitogorsk, emerging victorious by a large score of 5:1.
SKA immediately took charge of proceedings.
With a mere eight seconds on the clock, Anton Burdasov opened the scoring, as he thumped a huge one-timer beyond the stricken Juho Olkinuora after Joonas Kemppainen had won an early faceoff draw.
It soon got better for SKA. On the powerplay, Andrei Kuzmenko picked out the lurking Nikita Gusev to the right of the crease, who expertly hit the jackpot with Olkinuora already out of the picture.
The second period saw SKA withstand heavy pressure as a consequence of taking three consecutive penalties. Nevertheless, Johansson was equal to the task, pulling off a number of solid saves with Magnitogorsk forcing the issue with increasing urgency.
SKA tallied a hugely important third marker at the start of the third period on the powerplay.
When connecting with an intelligent pass from Kemppainen on the slot, onrushing defenseman Daniil Pylenkov made the deftest of touches to direct the puck between Olkinuora's pads.
Moments later, Magnitogorsk did manage to tally a reply, as Denis Zernov gave a flowing counter-attack the perfect finish.
However, SKA weren't about to panic. In the 54th minute of proceedings, the away team virtually put the game well and truly out of sight with a fourth marker, as Gusev slid a low wrister under Olkinuora from the left faceoff circle while looking in the opposite direction.
In the closing minutes, Magnitogorsk did pull Olkinuora for the extra skater, but that only resulted in Kuzmenko shooting into the empty net.
SKA will now prepare to host Dynamo Moscow in Saint Petersburg on Sunday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 17:00 local time.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk - SKA - 1:5 (0:2, 0:0, 1:3)
0:1 Burdasov (Kemppainen), 00.08
0:2 Gusev (Kuzmenko, Burdasov), 14.47 PPG
0:3 Pylenkov (Kemppainen), 44.14 PPG
1:3 Zernov (Karpov, Nikolaev), 45.54
1:4 Gusev (Vorobyov, Moiseev), 53.24
1:5 Kuzmenko (Burdasov), 57.06 EN
Goalkeepers: Olkinuora - Johansson
Shots: 56 - 37
Shots on target: 29 - 18
Faceoffs: 33 - 22
Hits: 15 - 15
Blocked shots: 10 - 21
Penalty minutes: 6 - 8
Referees: Kulakov, Naumov