In the 2019/2020 KHL regular season, SKA and Barys have only met on one previous occasion, with our team having claimed a confident 6:2 victory in Kazakhstan:
25.12.2019. Barys - SKA - 2:6 (Ohtamaa 00:11, Maklyukov 12:13; Lehtera 03:04, Zub 03:43, 11:25, 37:42, Yakupov 25:29, Tokranov 28:31)
Barys, based in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, are one of the most in-form clubs at this moment in time. With 50 games in the books, Barys currently occupy third place of the Eastern Conference, trailing the leading pair of Avangard and Ak Bars by a mere three points. Under the leadership of Andrei Skabelka, the Kazakhs have been solid in defence, only conceding 104 goals while scoring 124 at the other end. Barys have only let in 36 goals in 24 away games.
On Tuesday, Barys began their latest away series with an impressive 5:1 triumph over Jokerit in Helsinki, taking apart their Finnish opponents with clinical attacking play. Before beating Jokerit on the road, Barys had earned three successive victories against Lokomotiv (4:3 OT), Salavat Yulaev (5:3) and Metallurg Magnitogorsk (4:3). So far, they have only conceded two defeats in 2020 against Dinamo Riga (0:1) and Avangard (0:3).
SKA, for their part, gained momentum with three consecutive wins against Dynamo Moscow (2:1 OT), Dinamo Riga (3:0) and Jokerit (4:1) in Saint Petersburg. However, earlier this week, our players suffered a disappointing 2:3 loss to CSKA in Moscow, despite having produced a high-quality performance. SKA are now seven points behind leaders CSKA in second position of the Western Conference.
POINTS LEADERS IN LAST FIVE KHL MATCHES
Linus Videll: 5 (2+3) points
Dustin Boyd: 4 (4+0) points
Arkady Shestakov: 4 (3+1) points
Canadian-Kazakh forward Boyd, who moved back to Barys during the 2018/2019 campaign after an inconsistent spell at Dynamo Moscow, has been in prolific form recently, grabbing four goals in the past five matches. Overall, the 33-year-old holds 18 (10+8) points in 41 games, the fifth highest amount among Barys forwards. The leading Barys scorer is Corban Knight with 34 (17+17) points, but Roman Starchenko (16+16) and Nikita Mikhailis (12+13) aren't far behind.
The experienced Darren Dietz is the most productive defenseman with 27 (9+18) points on the board. Jesse Blacker (2+14) and Atte Ohtamaa (5+10) are also dangerous from the blue line.
Edward Pasquale, formely of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is the starting Barys goalkeeper, with the 29-year-old boasting a 92.9% save percentage, a goals against average of 2.02 and one shutout. He made three appearances in the 2018/2019 NHL campaign.
Ex-Jokerit figure Henrik Karlsson has largely been Barys' back-up goaltender this season.
Puck drop at the Ice Palace is scheduled for 19:30 local time. Channel 78 will provide a live television broadcast in Russia, and you can also read text updates on our official Twitter account.