In Saint Petersburg, SKA hosted HC Spartak Moscow for the concluding match of this particular 2018/2019 KHL regular season home series. Eager to change things up, head coach Ilya Vorobyov made a few changes to the squad, notably handing a campaign debut to Maxim Karpov, bringing Finn Jarno Koskiranta back and swapping Igor Shestyorkin for Magnus Hellberg in net. Julius Hudacek was the Spartak starting goaltender.
Spartak, who were looking confident in the opening stages, managed to score the first goal in the match was Gleb Shashkov deflected Andrei Kuteikin's slap shot beyond the stranded Magnus Hellberg. For a while, SKA struggled to get into the match and create chances, but as the game progressed our players settled into proceedings and went close when Nikolai Prokhorkin fanned on the puck at point blank range.
The game's fate was decided in a matter of two minutes in the second stanza. Nikita Gusev equalised with a wonderful attempt clean through, before Sergei Plotnikov cut sharply to the crease and stuffed the puck under the goalkeeper's legs. Both teams continued to have clear cut opportunities, but thanks to Magnus Hellberg's efforts, SKA saw the game out to claim an important 2:1 triumph over Spartak Moscow!
SKA - Spartak - 2:1 (0:1, 2:0, 0:0)
0:1 Shashkov (Kuteikin, Tsyplakov), 02.26
1:1 Gusev (Datsyuk), 30.21
2:1 Plotnikov (Tokranov), 32.02
Goalkeepers: Hellberg - Hudacek
Shots on target: 27 - 19
Faceoffs: 36 - 20
Hits: 12 - 13
Penalty minutes: 6 - 8
Referees: Ovchinnikov, Fateev