9. SKA: 34 matches, 15 regulation victories, 2 overtime victories, 3 penalty shootout victories, 9 regulation defeats, 2 overtime defeats, 3 penalty shootout defeats, goal difference 105-77, 45 points
3. Jokerit: 35 matches, 17 regulation victories, 3 overtime victories, 2 penalty shootout victories, 7 regulation defeats, 4 overtime defeats, 2 penalty shootout defeats, goal difference 111-85, 50 points
This will be the third meeting between these teams in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season. The sides traded dramatic home wins in quick succession in October, as Jokerit claimed an entertaining 5:4 victory in Finland before SKA subsequently gained revenge with a 2:0 triumph in Saint Petersburg. Ivan Morozov and Joonas Kemppainen - with an empty-netter - scored our two goals in the latter, while solid goaltender Lars Johansson stopped all 16 Jokerit shots he faced.
Jokerit are enjoying an excellent campaign to date: it’s immediately worth noting that only Metallurg Magnitogorsk (six) have suffered less regulation defeats. Head coach Lauri Marjamaki - who will step down upon the conclusion of the season - is managing to get the best out of his strong, attack-minded squad, with the likes of forwards Brian O’Neill (7+30), Nicklas Jensen (13+13) and Jordan Schroeder (9+14) all in fantastic form. Only Dynamo Moscow (121) and Magnitogorsk (126) have scored more goals than Jokerit.
One of the keys to Jokerit’s success has been their superb penalty-killing. So far, Jokerit have competed shorthanded on 118 occasions during the campaign, only conceding a grand total of 11 goals (90.7% success rate) to put them in first place of the PK ranking. Severstal Cherepovets are second in the ranking having killed 87.6% of their penalties.
In stark contrast, SKA have only killed 80.5% of the penalties given against them. However, on the other hand, SKA do possess a slightly more potent powerplay (21.5%, eighth place) than Jokerit (20.9%, 10th place).
Marjamaki’s men have arrived in Saint Petersburg on the back of two successive victories against Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (home, 2:0) and Vityaz Podolsk (away, 3:2). Before those two games, Jokerit had conceded two narrow setbacks in a row against Lokomotiv (away, 1:2 OT) and CSKA Moscow (home, 2:3 OT). Goalkeeper Anders Lindback and forward Schroeder missed the match against Vityaz as a consequence of injuries, so their participation in today’s game is doubtful. Forward Henrik Haapala is on the sidelines long-term with a serious injury.
Dangerous defensemen Philip Holm (6+10), Niklas Friman (5+9), Otto Leskinen (2+10), Tommi Kivisto (4+7) and David Sklenicka (3+7) have already reached double figures for Jokerit at the blue line.
SKA finally snapped their five-game winless streak at the Ice Palace on Wednesday, just managing to keep Dinamo Minsk at bay by a score of 2:1 with impressive goaltender Dmitry Nikolaev saving 23 of the 24 Belarusians’ shots. Interestingly, despite SKA’s inconsistency, our players are still only five points behind leaders Jokerit in fifth spot of the conference with a game in hand.
Defensemen Mikko Lehtonen (1+2), Oscar Fantenberg (0+3) and Vasily Tokranov (1+0) are ruled out of this match with injuries.
Lars Johansson: 24 matches, 12 wins, 9 defeats, 481 saves made, 39 goals conceded, save percentage 92.5%, goals against average 1.78, 7 shutouts
Alexander Samonov: 7 matches, 3 wins, 3 defeats, 105 saves made, 18 goals conceded, save percentage 85.4%, goals against average 3.87
Yaroslav Askarov: 5 matches, 2 wins, 2 defeats, 75 saves made, 8 goals conceded, save percentage 90.4%, goals against average 2.01
Dmitry Nikolaev: 4 matches, 3 wins, 82 saves made, 6 goals conceded, save percentage 93.2%, goals against average 1.54
Anders Lindback: 22 matches, 11 wins, 9 defeats, 485 saves made, 46 goals conceded, save percentage 91.3%, goals against average 2.16, 2 shutouts
Janne Juvonen: 16 matches, 10 wins, 4 defeats, 290 saves made, 32 goals conceded, save percentage 90.1%, goals against average 2.29, 2 shutouts
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace. KHL PRIME and Channel 78 (Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region only) will provide a television broadcast in Russia, whereas you can watch a live video worldwide on the KHL’s official website. Text updates will be available on our Twitter account.