The third match of the 2015/2016 KHL regular season took place today, as SKA hosted HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. Having beaten Dinamo Minsk a couple of days ago Andrei Nazarov didn’t make too many changes, with only a few lines being switched about. Dmitry Yudin stepped up to the third, Alexander Dergachyov kept his place in the fourth along with Arseniy Khatsey and Svyatoslav Grebenshchikov, and Ilya Ezhov was between the pipes. Ilya Proskuryakov was his opposite number for Torpedo.
It wasn’t a great start in front of the home fans, and very little openings were witnessed at either end. Torpedo were bringing Ilya Ezhov into action too often for comfort, and one of their efforts ended up in the net. Daniil Ilin charged down the right wing, and his weak backhander sneaked between the goaltender’s pads. Something was needed to get SKA going, and a five on three powerplay did just that. Maxim Chudinov’s slapper cannoned off the boards, and from a tough angle glove side Vadim Shipachyov drew us level. Nevertheless our team still couldn’t sustain real pressure, and with a man advantage of their own Torpedo retook their lead. Alexey Pepelyaev wound up at the blue line, and he launched a rocket into the top right hand corner. SKA could have levelled before the period was out however, but Anton Burdasov failed to beat the goalkeeper from point blank range.
Our team were in a bit of hole moving into the second, and the pace was quickened. Ilya Ezhov had to make two smart saves by his right post as Torpedo broke away with real danger, and at the other end Ilya Proskuryakov was being worked more and more. The best chance of the whole period fell to striker Pyotr Khokhryakov, as on the penalty kill he skated clean through only to be denied by a superb save. Indeed SKA were much the stronger after that chance, and on the powerplay Maxim Chudinov had a number of huge one timers fly inches off target.
There was a lot of promise for the third period, however Torpedo provided SKA with a sucker punch. A deflected wrister bounced all around the crease, and Carl Klingberg reacted quickest to flick home. Down by two goals our players had nothing more to lose, and piled forward in hope of something to go their way. Young debutant Alexander Dergachyov looked useful when given a chance, however we all knew it wasn’t SKA’s day when Joakim Lindstrom could only hit the post with an empty net to aim at. Ilya Ezhov’s pulling in the final minute didn’t change anything, and SKA fall to Torpedo 1:3 for the season’s second defeat. The next match will take place against HC Severstal Cherepovets away on Monday.
SKA – Torpedo – 1:3 (1:2, 0:0, 0:1)
0:1 Ilin (Spang, Frolov), 04.49
1:1 Shipachyov (Yakovlev, Chudinov), 09.53
1:2 Pepelyaev (Frolov, Galuzin), 16.07
1:3 Klingberg (Egorshev, Videll), 40.47
Goalkeepers: Ezhov – Proskuryakov
Shots on target: 30 – 29
Penalty minutes: 10 – 14
Faceoffs: 18 – 42
Hits: 12 – 7
Referees: Gofman, Ravodin
29.08.2015. The Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg. Attendance 11911.