In a tense duel, SKA had enough strength to emerge victorious against Barys Nur-Sultan in Saint Petersburg, registering a gritty 3:1 triumph in the second match of the 2022/2023 KHL regular season.
In truth, the first period was thoroughly forgettable.
With the game being played at a slow, cautious pace, neither team created any realistic opportunities at all in the maiden 20 minutes. Vladislav Tsitsyura had the only half-chance for SKA, shooting wide of the mark having burst past the out-of-position Barys defensive line.
The Kazakh visitors were focused on defending solidly and counter-attacking. At the blue line, Chris Bigras did test Alexander Samonov with a powerful attempt, firing against our goaltender’s body.
To our relief, the action did pick up in the second stanza.
Following a promising spell of pressure, Dmitrij Jaskin opened the scoring for SKA in the 29th minute, catching Barys goaltender Andrei Shutov cold from a tight angle on the left flank with a sneaky low wrister.
That goal arrived moments after Samonov had produced an excellent save to deny former SKA forward Linden Vey on a Barys powerplay.
SKA’s first powerplay was subsequently taken advantage of in the 37th minute.
As a goalmouth scramble erupted on the Barys slot, Alexander Volkov cleverly managed to bundle it over the line to score his second goal in as many games.
Everything looked to be going to plan for SKA. However, with only a mere 21 seconds remaining in the second period, Barys halved the deficit out of the blue.
Allowed to speed towards Samonov’s net on the right wing following a sloppy turnover, the clean-through Vey lifted his shot beyond our goalkeeper to give his team a required boost.
On another day, that goal could have proved to be the turning point. Nevertheless, despite that setback, SKA emerged for the third period as if that goal hadn’t been conceded, continuing to dominate the play and compete firmly on the front foot.
Two powerplays were wasted in the second half of the third period. Even though they required goals, Barys never sustained any notable pressure, barely spending any time inside our zone whatsoever. The only big chance they created was a crashing slap shot from the high slot which Samonov expertly pushed to safety.
In the closing two minutes, the Kazakhstan-based organisation made the call to swap Shutov in favour of the extra skater, but that only resulted in Volkov grabbing his second of the day with an empty-netter.
SKA will now prepare to host Avangard Omsk at the Ice Palace on Wednesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
SKA – Barys – 3:1 (0:0, 2:1, 1:0)
1:0 Jaskin (Khusnutdinov, Nikishin), 28.56
2:0 Volkov (Jaskin, Nikishin), 36.10 PPG
2:1 Vey (Louis), 39.39
3:1 Volkov (Moiseev), 58.20 EN
Goalkeepers: Samonov – Shutov
Shots: 67 – 36
Shots on target: 36 – 19
Faceoffs: 40 – 25
Blocked shots: 12 – 10
Hits: 14 – 13
Penalty minutes: 2 – 6
Referees: Belov, Ovchinnikov
Linesmen: Stroganov, Chernyshyov
05.09.2022. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.