SKA produced a solid second-half display to record an important 3:0 triumph over HC Dinamo Riga in the KHL regular season at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace.
This is SKA’s second successive victory having previously defeated Dynamo Moscow 2:1 in a penalty shootout on Sunday.
Dinamo Riga contrived to concede a penalty within the first 25 seconds of the match. However, the Latvians dealt with the danger comfortably, and they subsequently began to gain a foothold in the game themselves. Earning two powerplays of their own, Dinamo Riga surprisingly outshot SKA 5-3 in the opening period of play, with Magnus Hellberg being forced into a handful of tricky saves. SKA, on the other hand, struggled to build up any attacking traction as the Latvian visitors calmly controlled the tempo without too much fuss.
SKA made a large improvement in the second stanza.
In comparison to the first period, SKA attacked with a lot more intensity, bombarding Janis Voris’ goal with shots from all angles. On the powerplay, Lukas Bengtsson, Nail Yakupov and Maxim Karpov all failed to score from perfect positions, and Dinamo Riga were eventually forced to use their time-out after a spell of overwhelming pressure. SKA continued pressing and, in the 35th minute, the breakthrough finally arrived. Beating his opponents for pure skill, Vladimir Tkachyov sent a wonderful pass across to Jori Lehtera, who hit the target from close range to leave Voris clutching thin air.
That goal gave SKA well-needed confidence which resulted in putting the game to bed in the third period.
SKA ended the match as a contest with two quick-fire goals. On an extended powerplay, Vladimir Tkachyov whipped an unstoppable one timer beyond the sprawling Voris, before Evgeny Ketov then knocked the puck under the goalkeeper when clean through. Hungry for more goals, SKA continued laying siege to the Latvian net, and Voris did well to deny Yakupov and Ivan Morozov with solid stops.
In full control, SKA calmly saw the game out, allowing Hellberg to pick up his maiden KHL shutout of the 2019/2020 campaign.
SKA will return to KHL action on Thursday with a home match against Jokerit Helsinki. Puck drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
SKA - Dinamo Riga - 3:0 (0:0, 1:0, 2:0)
1:0 Lehtera (Ozhiganov, Tkachyov), 34:09
2:0 Tkachyov (Bengtsson, Tokranov), 51:38
3:0 Ketov (Belov, Karpov), 51:51
Goalkeepers: Hellberg - Voris
Shots on target: 29 - 12
Faceoffs: 21 - 33
Hits: 13 - 11
Penalty minutes: 6 -8
Referees: Lavrentyev, Fateev
Linesmen: Golovlyov, Savenkov
14.01.2020. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.