Producing an impressive attacking performance, SKA gained their third successive win the 2019/2020 KHL regular season with a 4:1 triumph over HC Jokerit in Saint Petersburg.
Unlike the game against Dinamo Riga, SKA came flying out of the blocks at the Ice Palace, immediately applying heavy pressure on the visiting Finns. Finding space between the lines, Vasily Glotov suddenly had a golden opportunity when clean through, however he could only fire the puck into the chest of Janis Kalnins. Moments before that chance, Kalnins almost allowed Nail Yakupov’s seemingly harmless wrist shot to creep over the line, but after video review, it was determined that he kept it out. At the other end, Jokerit were waiting for chances on the counter, and Nicklas Jensen twice came close to scoring when two whipped wristers were saved by the alert Magnus Hellberg.
SKA did, eventually, break through in the second period.
Not long after Kirill Marchenko hit the crossbar, Vasily Tokranov finally broke the deadlock, lashing his instant attempt into the net from point blank range. Buoyed by that goal, SKA applied overwhelming pressure on the struggling Jokerit defence, and it soon became 2:0 as Vladimir Tkachyov’s pass across the crease was inadvertently deflected in by Kalnins’ left skate. 12 minutes after his first goal, Tkachyov notched his second of the game, and this time it was a beauty as he displayed wonderful skill to cut to the doorstep before firing an unstoppable effort beyond Kalnins.
It seemed that the game was done and dusted for SKA, but Jokerit had other ideas.
Taking aim from the left wing, Petri Kontiola went top shelf on Hellberg, a goal which gave the Finns a wave of adrenaline and confidence at the start of the third period.
All of a sudden, the momentum was with Jokerit, and Hellberg conjured up a superb reaction save to deny Veli-Matti Savinainen before Nicklas Jensen missed the target with the goal at his mercy.
However, despite their best efforts, the Finnish club failed to beat Hellberg for the second time and Evgeny Ketov sealed the SKA victory in the 58th minute, sweeping a one timer past Kalnins to give a flowing counter-attack the finish it deserved. 4:1, SKA claim two vital points against Jokerit and increase their grip on second place of the Western Conference!
SKA will now prepare to face reigning champions and league leaders HC CSKA in Moscow on Tuesday. Puck drop in the Russian capital is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
SKA - Jokerit - 4:1 (0:0, 3:0, 1:1)
1:0 Tokranov (Glotov, Ketov), 23.13
2:0 Tkachyov (Lehtera), 25.51
3:0 Tkachyov (Galenyuk, Ozhiganov), 37.07
3:1 Kontiola (Loov), 43.04
4:1 Ketov (Kablukov, Tkachyov), 57.14
Goalkeepers: Hellberg - Kalnins
Shots on target: 36 - 25
Faceoffs: 32 - 26
Hits: 17 - 12
Penalty minutes: 4- 8
Referees: Gofman, Ravodin
Linesmen: Vilyugin, Kuchava
16.01.2020. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.