SKA continued the KHL home series against HC Avangard Omsk at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace. Head coach Oleg Znarok made a few changes to the line-up, bringing forward Sergei Shirokov and goalkeeper Igor Shestyorkin into the roster. Dominik Furch was Avangard's starting netminder.
To everyone's surprise, Avangard came flying out of the blocks in Saint Petersburg. Igor Shestyorkin made a superb early stop, denying Anton Kovalyov 1 on 1. However, Avangard eventually made their pressure count. A flowing play found ex SKA defenseman Maxim Chudinov on the slot, who calmly wristed into the net. Our players were struggling to create chances, but a late powerplay allowed them to equalise. Sergei Plotnikov positioned himself on the doorstep, tipping Ilya Kovalchuk's effort beyond Dominik Furch.
Holding the momentum, SKA took the initiative in the second stanza. The pressing led up to a goal, as Vladislav Gavrikov jammed a juicy rebound over the line. Nevertheless, Avangard weren't willing to wave the white flag. The Omsk outfit had three opportunities when clean through, but Igor Shestyorkin stood tall. At the end of the frame, Avangard were made to pay for their missed chances. On a late powerplay, Vyacheslav Voynov extended SKA's advantage with a strong slap shot.
Requiring a comeback, the away team protected the puck inside SKA's zone for long periods during the third frame. SKA killed a dangerous 5 on 3 Avangard powerplay, but the visitors did score at equal strength. Ilya Mikheev deflected Kirill Semyonov's feed past Igor Shestyorkin, bringing Avangard to within one goal. SKA weren't prepared to let Avangard equalise though, and thanks to some Igor Shestyorkin heroics, the team held on to defeat Avangard 3:2!
SKA - Avangard - 3:2 (1:1, 2:0, 0:1)
0:1 Chudinov (Everberg, Pursell), 06.38
1:1 Plotnikov (Shipachyov, Kovalchuk), 16.52
2:1 Gavrikov (Voynov, Kablukov), 29.33
3:1 Voynov (Shirokov), 38.53
3:2 Mikheev (Manukyan, Semyonov), 51.37
Goalkeepers: Shestyorkin - Furch
Shots on target: 35 - 30
Penalty minutes: 14 - 26
Faceoffs: 43 - 30
Hits: 15 - 20
Referees: Belyaev, Gashilov
29.11.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.