In a pulsating battle, SKA outlasted Severstal Cherepovets at the Ice Palace in the 2022/2023 KHL regular season, emerging victorious by a score of 4:3 in overtime.
Severstal started with real intent.
Instead of sitting back, the Cherepovets-based organisation opted for an aggressive approach, causing problems for our defence with their quick, tenacious play.
The visitors drew first blood on the powerplay in the 12th minute. Allowed to take aim from the left flank, Daniil Vovchenko got the better of Dmitry Nikolaev with a snappy effort.
Nikita Guslistov wasted a glorious chance for Severstal’s second towards the end of the opening period. Alone on the doorstep, the forward managed to gather the puck after Nikolaev had stopped the initial attempt, but he could only wrist wide of the left post with the goal practically at his mercy.
SKA duly made an improvement in the second stanza.
From the blue line, Alexander Nikishin managed to beat the unsighted Alexander Samonov – who was playing against SKA for the first time since transferring to Severstal – on the powerplay.
Severstal immediately retook the lead a mere matter of 26 seconds later, as Robin Press pounced on the rebound on the doorstep after Nikolaev had stopped Kirill Pilipenko’s backhander.
Nevertheless, the same player was about to turn into the villain of the piece.
Behind Samonov’s net while competing on the powerplay, the Swedish defenseman committed a terrible mistake to present Nikita Komarov with the puck on the doorstep, who expertly turned his ensuing shot past the goalkeeper.
SKA then took their maiden lead of proceedings in the 29th minute.
And it was a beauty too, as Damir Zhafyarov calmly tapped the puck into the gaping net after Nikishin had picked him out with an intelligent pass. Applying pressure on the Cherepovets defence throughout the remainder of the period, SKA passed up a few great chances to increase the advantage, with Marat Khairullin and Dmitrij Jaskin all missing the target.
SKA started the third period with intent. However, after weathering the storm, Severstal struck back with an equaliser in the sixth minute of the frame.
Catching SKA out during a shift change, Nikita Rozhkov whipped his wrist shot beyond Nikolaev who had plenty of players standing in front of him.
The remainder of the period was competed at an intense pace with the two sides attacking at any given opportunity. On a 2-on-1 breakaway, former SKA defenseman Daniil Pylenkov was presented with a perfect chance to steal all the points for Severstal with around two minutes remaining on the clock, but Nikolaev came to the rescue for our team with a huge save.
That stop proved vital.
Nikishin struck the decisive blow in the first minute of the extra frame, as he completed a flowing play when completely unmarked to the right of the slot.
SKA will now prepare to play against Kunlun Red Star on the road in Mytishchi on Sunday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 17:00 local time.
SKA – Severstal – 4:3 OT (0:1, 3:1, 0:1, 1:0)
0:1 Vovchenko (Press), 11.57 PPG
1:1 Nikishin (Gusev), 22.17 PPG
1:2 Press (Pilipenko, Vovchenko), 22.43
2:2 Komarov, 26.30 SHG
3:2 Zhafyarov (Nikishin, Vorobyov), 28.53
3:3 Rozhkov (Churkin), 45.19
4:3 Nikishin (Vorobyov, Khairullin), 60.55
Goalkeepers: Nikolaev – Samonov
Shots: 59 – 63
Shots on target: 31 – 34
Faceoffs: 36 – 26
Hits: 19 – 7
Blocked shots: 18 – 13
Penalty minutes: 10 – 4
Referees: Belov, Raming
Linesmen: Kolyasnikov, Slavikovsky
01.12.2022. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.