13. Vityaz, 10 matches, 3 regulation victories, 3 regulation defeats, 3 overtime defeats, 1 penalty shootout defeat, goal difference 30-32, 10 points
7. SKA, 10 matches, 5 regulation victories, 1 overtime victory, 1 penalty shootout victory, 3 regulation defeats, goal difference 33-20, 14 points
It’s been a challenging start for Vityaz Podolsk in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season. Initially, Vityaz surprisingly defeated Torpedo by a large score of 6:3 in Nizhny Novgorod in their opening match, before subsequently conceding seven consecutive defeats against HC Sochi (away, 5:6 OT), Spartak Moscow (away, 2:3 OT), Ak Bars Kazan twice (home 1:2 OT, away 1:2), Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (home, 3:4 SO), Traktor Chelyabinsk (3:4) and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (away, 2:5). However, Yury Babenko’s troops have recently started picking up wins again, beating Lokomotiv in Yaroslavl (3:2) and Amur Khabarovsk in Podolsk (4:1) in their last two games.
The main threat is clear for everyone to see. Their first attacking line consisting of new signings Niko Ojamaki (8+4), Miro Aaltonen (3+9) and Canadian Daniel Audette (7+4) has simply been unstoppable so far, with the trio combining for an impressive tally of 35 points in just 10 matches. Almost unplayable at times, Ojamaki, ex-SKA representative Aaltonen and Audette have practically single-handedly been earning points for Vityaz, displaying fantastic mutual-understanding on the ice. The SKA defence will certainly have to be on its game to keep them at bay.
Experienced forwards Miks Indrasis (3+5) and Fyodor Malykhin (4+3) are in good form as well, while Finnish defenseman Valtteri Kemilainen (0+7) is dangerous at the blue line. Kemilainen is, however, expected to miss this match through injury.
Former SKA players Ilya Ezhov (goalkeeper), Viktor Antipin (defenseman, 0+2), Svyatoslav Grebenshchikov (0+1), Daniil Voevodin (0+0) and Ivan Larichev (0+0) are also currently on Vityaz’s books.
Following a disappointing home defeat to Salavat Yulaev Ufa (2:4) on Thursday last week, our players got back to winning ways on Saturday, edging past Dinamo Minsk 2:1 in overtime in Belarus with Marat Khusnutdinov and Anton Burdasov scoring excellent goals. Burdasov has indeed been named the KHL forward of the week with six (4+2) points in three games. Moreover, Burdasov is our leading scorer at the moment, possessing 12 (7+5) points from 10 games.
Last season, SKA defeated Vityaz in all four regular season meetings, emerging victorious by scores of 5:1 (home), 8:1 (away), 3:1 (away) and 4:0 (home).
Ilya Ezhov: 10 matches, 3 victories, 5 defeats, 268 saves made, save percentage 91.8%, goals against average 2.82
Anton Todykov: 2 matches, 2 defeats, 36 saves made, save percentage 83.7%, goals against average 4.48
Lars Johansson: 7 matches, 4 victories, 1 defeat, 152 saves made, save percentage 95.6%, goals against average 1.11, 2 shutouts
Alexander Samonov: 4 matches, 2 victories, 2 defeats, 70 saves made, save percentage 86.4%, goals against average 4.06
Yaroslav Askarov: 1 match, 1 victory, 17 saves made, save percentage 94.4%, goals against average 1.00
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck-drop at the Vityaz Ice Palace in Podolsk is scheduled for 19:30 local time. KHL PRIME and Channel 78 will provide a television broadcast in Russia, whereas you can watch a live video on the KHL’s official website worldwide. Text updates will be provided on our Twitter account.