In a nervy battle, SKA just came up short against Dynamo Moscow at the Ice Palace in the 2022/2023 KHL regular season, losing 1:2 after a penalty shootout to consequently concede the first defeat of the campaign.
Taking into account that this was the third meeting between these two sides in the current season, it should have come as no surprise that the teams didn’t give up an inch in the first period.
With barely any space available on the ice, no major scoring opportunities were witnessed at all. Thanks to his sheer pace, Maxim Groshev drew a penalty out of Dynamo in the early stages and later thrashed a powerful wrister wide of the left post, while the opponents were managing to protect the puck inside our zone for long periods.
SKA made the breakthrough with a mere 22 seconds remaining in the frame.
Unmarked on the left wing, Damir Zhafyarov got the better of Dynamo goaltender Ilya Konovalov. The referees initially waved off the goal, but it was given following a brief video review.
Nevertheless, despite that setback, Dynamo came flying out of the blocks for the second period.
Our players barely managed to keep the puck out of their own zone. Firmly competing on the front foot, the Muscovites piled the pressure on throughout the stanza, testing Nikolaev on a regular basis and not allowing SKA to clear their lines.
Midway through the period, Alexei Ozhghikhin came close to SKA’s second with a rare scoring chance, but he could only backhand against the right post after pouncing on a big rebound.
Dynamo went on to equalise with a little over two minutes remaining in the frame.
When bursting into our zone, Eric O’Dell managed to whip a rising wrister over Nikolaev’s glove.
The visitors appeared to be on top. However, to their credit, our players improved their performance level in the third period.
In stark contrast to the second period, SKA were now attacking with confidence and taking the game to the opponents, pressing Dynamo inside their zone and making Konovalov work hard in their net. Dynamo did manage to weather the storm, though, and they passed up a few chances on the powerplay in the 48th minute after Andrei Pedan had been punished for an avoidable tripping foul.
Overtime was indeed required. Alexander Nikishin came close to winning it for SKA with a thunderous slap shot, before the impressive Nikolaev shut the door on O’Dell at point-blank range.
In such a tight, hotly contested duel, it was only fair that penalty shots decided the outcome. Unfortunately, despite Marat Khairullin scoring, SKA emerged the losing side after Jordan Weal and Dmitry Rashevsky hit the jackpot for Dynamo.
SKA will now prepare to host Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in Saint Petersburg on Monday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
SKA – Dynamo Moscow – 1:2 SO (1:0, 0:1, 0:0, 0:0 – 0:1)
1:0 Zhafyarov (Bardakov, Ozhiganov), 19.38
1:1 O’Dell (Menell), 37.25 PPG
1:2 Rashevsky, 65.00 SO
Goalkeepers: Nikolaev – Konovalov
Shots: 67 – 72
Shots on target: 31 – 31
Faceoffs: 38 – 24
Hits: 20 – 10
Blocked shots: 16 – 19
Penalty minutes: 6 – 4
Referees: Morozov, Yudakov
Linesmen: Bersenyov, Yudin
24.09.2022. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.