At the packed Saint Petersburg Ice Palace, SKA were given a tough test by HC Salavat Yulaev, emerging 4:1 winners in a tight encounter.
Initially, Vladimir Tkachyov opened the scoring for SKA within 18 seconds of the match starting, but Salavat found their feet and equalised through Teemu Hartikainen in the second frame.
Nevertheless, SKA continued applying pressure on the away side, eventually breaking through in the concluding minutes of the second stanza with Sergei Plotnikov beating Juha Metsola at close range.
Nail Yakupov and Evgeny Ketov (empty net) scored in the third period to complete the 4:1 victory. SKA will next play on Saturday at home against Dynamo Moscow.
SKA - Salavat Yulaev - 4:1 (1:0, 1:1, 2:0)
1:0 Tkachyov (Plotnikov), 00.18
1:1 Hartikainen (Omark, Manninen), 23.10
2:1 Plotnikov, 37.22
3:1 Yakupov (Kagarlitsky, Rukavishnikov), 53.20
4:1 Ketov (Lehtera, Kemppainen), 58.19
Goalkeepers: Melnichuk - Metsola
Shots on target: 29 - 22
Faceoffs: 23 - 32
Hits: 14 - 22
Penalty minutes: 10 - 10
Referees: Ravodin, Romasko