At the Yubileyny Arena, SKA had no trouble in easing past HC Dinamo Riga, thrashing the Latvian visitors 7:1.
Initially, Dinamo offered stubborn resistance and even took the lead, however they rapidly fell apart as SKA launched a six-goal onslaught to claim the two points in Saint Petersburg.
Nikolai Prokhorkin had bundled the puck in at point blank range in the opening stages, but after video review, it was determined that goaltender interference against Timur Bilyalov was involved. Buoyed by that decision, Dinamo promptly scored at the other end, as Mikelis Redlihs collected the loose puck and bundled it under the stranded Magnus Hellberg.
Dinamo Riga were beginning to play with real confidence, but before the period was over, SKA suddenly turned the game on its head. On the crease, Sergei Plotnikov converted with a wonderful attempt, before David Rundblad thumped a one timer into the net on the powerplay.
The second stanza started in disastrous circumstances for the Latvians. Skating to the crease, Nail Yakupov sent his attempt past the goalkeeper, in turn ending Timur Bilyalov’s match as he was swapped for Kristers Gudlevskis. Nevertheless, it made little difference to the flow of the game, as the newly installed Dinamo Riga goaltender promptly gifted Sergei Plotnikov an easy shorthanded goal when handing him the puck behind the net.
SKA refused to take the foot off the gas. Glove side, Nikolai Prokhorkin caught Kristers Gudlevskis cold, and when playing 4 on 4, Pavel Datsyuk whipped an unstoppable wrister into the left corner. 6:1 after 40 minutes.
In the third frame, Andrei Kuzmenko added gloss to the scoreline, with his shot rolling in off the goalkeeper’s pad after his initial attempt had smacked the pipe. A rather frustrated Dinamo Riga tried to end the match on a high note, but Magnus Hellberg wasn’t going to be beaten again, turning aside 24 of 25 shots to secure an emphatic 7:1 triumph for SKA!
SKA – Dinamo Riga – 7:1 (2:1, 4:0, 1:0)
0:1 Redlihs (Sotnieks, Darzins), 06.55
1:1 Plotnikov (Gusev, Belov), 11.19
2:1 Rundblad (Gusev, Prokhorkin), 18.46
3:1 Yakupov (Prokhorkin, Gusev), 20.27
4:1 Plotnikov, 21.40
5:1 Prokhorkin (Gusev, Rundblad), 30.06
6:1 Datsyuk (Plotnikov, Khafizullin), 34.36
7:1 Kuzmenko, 47.14
Goalkeepers: Hellberg – Bilyalov/Gudlevskis
Shots on target: 37 – 25
Faceoffs: 34 – 27
Hits: 23 – 17
Penalty minutes: 14 – 42
Referees: Belyaev, Gamaley
26.01.2019. Yubileyny Arena, Saint Petersburg.