SKA's second match in this KHL home series took place against Salavat Yulaev Ufa, a team which SKA had beaten 6:1 last week. Head coach Oleg Znarok brought Pavel Datsyuk back into the line-up, while Nikolai Prokhorkin missed the game because of injury. Mikko Koskinen and Andrei Kareev were the starting goaltenders.
A packed Ice Palace expected to see SKA dominate, but it was Salavat who made the better start in Saint Petersburg. Unfortunately, their pressure led up to an early goal. On a two man advantage, Linus Omark sent a clever pass to the doorstep where Joonas Kemppainen was waiting - 0:1. Nevertheless, our players had the right response. Jarno Koskiranta levelled the score with his first goal of the season, tipping in a Patrik Hersley wrist shot. SKA had the majority of scoring chances in the period, outshooting Salavat Yulaev 14-9.
The game tightened up in the second period, as both teams shut up shop in defence. Not many chances were coming at either end, but a bit of magic from Pavel Datsyuk got the fans out of their seats. Pavel lurked behind the Salavat net, swung for a sharp wraparound, and beat Andrei Kareev with a sneaky backhand shot - 2:1. SKA searched for more joy in the Salavat zone during the frame, however the away defence stood tall to our advances.
Needing goals, Salavat Yulaev came flying out of the blocks in the third period. To the Ice Palace's dismay, the visitors managed to get back on level terms. Joonas Kemppainen was the scorer, lifting the puck over Mikko Koskinen's glove when clean through. Salavat should have taken the lead seconds later, but Linus Omark missed the target with the goal at his mercy. That chance proved to be the turning point. On 49 minutes, SKA took a decisive lead on the powerplay. A classy passing move teed up Sergei Plotnikov on the right faceoff circle, who lashed a one timer past the flailing Andrei Kareev. Sergei Kalinin netted a fourth on another powerplay, knocking a juicy rebound past the netminder. Mikko Koskinen made some crucial saves late on, sealing a 4:2 SKA victory!
SKA - Salavat Yulaev - 4:2 (1:1, 1:0, 2:1)
0:1 Kemppainen (Omark), 10.56
1:1 Koskiranta (Shirokov, Hersley), 15.17
2:1 Datsyuk (Kovalchuk, Gavrikov), 28.04
2:2 Kemppainen (Kuzmin), 43.13
3:2 Plotnikov (Hersley, Gusev), 48.49
4:2 Kalinin (Koskiranta, Hersley), 54.28
Goalkeepers: Koskinen - Kareev
Shots on target: 29 - 22
Penalty minutes: 14 - 26
Faceoffs: 32 - 33
Hits: 16 - 14
Referees: Gusev, Jerabek
13.10.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.