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SKA - Jokerit - 2:0

Match reportJokeritSKA - Jokerit - 191021
HC SKA press-service

In a tight, tactical battle, SKA outlasted Jokerit Helsinki at the Ice Palace in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season, scoring twice in the third period to emerge victorious 2:0 and move into first position of the Western Conference.

The first period saw both teams opt for a cautious approach. In truth, barely any major opportunities were witnessed in the opening 20 minutes, with no one willing to take unnecessary risks.

SKA were the more active team, drawing two penalties out of Jokerit and causing the Finnish defence problems with the lively Nikita Gusev particularly dangerous. Nevertheless, Jokerit were threatening every time when they entered our zone, forcing goaltender Lars Johansson into six saves with the majority of them being tallied when competing on a powerplay.

The tone of proceedings didn’t change in the second stanza.

Competing with patience, Jokerit were mainly focused on defence, preventing our players from creating a large amount of realistic scoring chances. On the powerplay, Anton Burdasov did have one excellent opportunity on the right faceoff circle, firing into Anders Lindback who managed to get across in time. The commanding Lindback also made a tough save to deny Emil Galimov at point-blank range not long later.

SKA - Jokerit - 2:0

Jokerit did have two chances on the powerplay in the period. Johansson stood tall to the task, however, pulling off important saves with the Finns playing aggressively when protecting the puck inside the attacking zone.

Such an even duel was always going to depend on the first goal.

In the third period, SKA made a notable improvement, applying heavy pressure on the sturdy Finnish defence which eventually resulted in the crucial breakthrough in the 51st minute.

After receiving an intelligent pass from Gusev, Ivan Morozov pulled sharply to the crease and cooly slotted the puck under Lindback.

Now, Jokerit really did have to come out of their shell. Thankfully, though, SKA kept the away team at bay, subsequently sealing the deal with a late empty-netter from Joonas Kemppainen after the Jokerit coaching staff had pulled Lindback in favour of the extra skater.

The flawless Johansson stopped all 16 shots he faced in the match to earn his sixth shutout of the campaign.

SKA will now prepare to host Kunlun Red Star Beijing on Thursday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.

Match protocol:

SKA - Jokerit - 2:0 (0:0, 0:0, 2:0)

Goals:

1:0 Morozov (Gusev, Ozhiganov), 50.24

2:0 Kemppainen (Tsitsyura), 58.57

Goalkeepers: Johansson - Lindback

Shots on target: 21 - 16

Faceoffs: 19 - 26

Hits: 14 - 10

Penalty minutes: 8 - 4

Referees: Birin, Ravodin

19.10.2021. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.

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