So far, familiar foes SKA and CSKA have played against each four times in the 2019/2020 KHL regular season, with our team having only emerged victorious on one occasion:
13.09.2019. SKA - CSKA - 0:3 (Slepyshev 08:58, Okulov 25:52, Kalinin 59:05)
23.09.2019. SKA - CSKA - 2:3 SO (Tkachyov 10:46, 34:55; Shalunov 08:24, 25:31, Vey 65:00)
02.12.2019. CSKA - SKA - 2:4 (Tolchinsky 10:18, Vey 37:10; Barabanov 16:34, 58:56, 59:57, Belov 42:28)
19.12.2019. SKA - CSKA - 0:1 (Kalinin 49:07)
CSKA, the reigning Gagarin Cup champions, are currently leading the standings with 74 points, five ahead of second-placed SKA. However, despite their general consistency, CSKA have conceded two defeats in the first month of 2020, as Salavat Yulaev (4:2) and Avtomobilist (3:2 SO) managed to beat the Moscow-based organisation. CSKA have beaten HC Sochi (7:1, 6:1), Dynamo Moscow (4:1), Kunlun Red Star (3:0) and Dinamo Minsk (5:1) in January.
Initially, SKA endured a poor start to 2020, but our players subsequently got back on track with three consecutive victories over Dynamo Moscow (2:1 SO), Dinamo Riga (3:0) and Jokerit (4:1) in Saint Petersburg to move within five points of CSKA. A victory in regulation time today in Moscow will narrow the gap to a mere three points.
POINTS LEADERS IN LAST FIVE KHL MATCHES
Anton Slepyshev: 8 (5+3) points
Kirill Kaprizov: 8 (4+4) points
Konstantin Okulov: 5 (4+1) points
Russian national team star Kirill Kaprizov has been in wonderful form with CSKA. With 44 appearances under his belt, the talented 22-year-old forward has registered 45 (23+22) points for the capital club, almost always taking a leading role on the ice. Linden Vey boasts 37 (12+25) points from 41 games.
Interestingly, no CSKA defenseman has scored 10 goals, with Nikita Nesterov leading the way with six markers. Alexei Marchenko, Bogdan Kiselevich, Mat Robinson and Artyom Blazhievsky are the only other defensemen to have scored for CSKA.
First choice goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin holds a save percentage of 93.1%, a goals against average of 1.59 and five shutouts. CSKA's Swedish goaltender Lars Johansson has also gained five clean sheets.
Incidentally, CSKA have lost nine out of 24 home games, a statistic which gives SKA even more hope.
Puck drop at the CSKA Arena in Moscow is scheduled for 19:30 local time. Match TV and Channel 78 will provide a live television broadcast in Russia, while you can also read text updates on our official Twitter account.