SKA continued this KHL away series with a match against HC Neftekhimik in Nizhnekamsk. Head coach Oleg Znarok made a number of key changes for the game, putting Anton Belov, Artyom Zub and Patrick Thoresen into the line-up. Vladislav Gavrikov, Vyacheslav Voynov, Sergei Plotnikov and Nikita Gusev were given a rest. Mikko Koskinen and Ilya Ezhov made the starting goaltending duo.
Neftekhimik, a team which currently occupies third place of the Eastern Conference, made an aggressive start in this match. Unfortunately, Pavel Poryadin neatly diverted Alexei Volgin's effort beyond the unsighted Mikko Koskinen to give the hosts an early lead. SKA slowly grew into the game, but Ilya Ezhov wasn't in the mood for conceding against his former team. Ilya Kovalchuk should have equalised at point blank range, lashing wide with the goal at his mercy.
Requiring a goal, SKA continued holding the initiative in the second stanza. Ilya Ezhov was in defiant form though, pulling off 12 difficult saves during the period. Sergei Kalinin couldn't bundle the loose puck over the line, before Maxim Karpov saw his goalbound wrister swept into the goalkeeper's glove. Neftekhimik were proving to be dangerous on the counterattack, forcing Mikko Koskinen into nine stops.
Our players threw everything at Neftekhimik in the third period, crashing the opposing net at any given opportunity. It looked as though Neftekhimik would hold on for a famous win, but with seven minutes remaining, SKA finally found the target. A juicy rebound fell to the stick of Nikolai Prokhorkin, who gleefully slid his attempt under Ilya Ezhov's pads. A deflated Neftekhimik team then took a cheap slashing penalty in the dying moments, something which SKA were happy to take advantage of. Hanging on the crease, Vadim Shipachyov caught Ilya Ezhov cold blocker side. Neftekhimik then pulled the goaltender in the last minute, however that only resulted in Alexander Barabanov scoring into the empty net. 3:1, SKA earn a dramatic victory against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk!
Neftekhimik - SKA - 1:3 (1:0, 0:0, 0:3)
1:0 Poryadin (Arkalov, Volgin), 07.16
1:1 Prokhorkin (Rundblad, Rykov), 52.52
1:2 Shipachyov (Thoresen), 58.39
1:3 Barabanov (Prokhorkin), 59.35
Goalkeepers: Ezhov - Koskinen
Shots on target: 26 - 40
Penalty minutes: 14 - 6
Faceoffs: 29 - 39
Hits: 16 - 19
Referees: Bondar, Gofman