In battle of high quality, SKA breezed past Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod at home in the 2022/2023 KHL regular season, earning a comfortable 3:0 victory.
SKA dominated the entirety of the first period.
Firmly on the front foot, our players applied heavy pressure on Torpedo throughout the stanza, protecting the puck inside the attacking zone for long periods and not allowing the visitors to conduct dangerous counter-attacks. Energetic 19-year-old forward Dmitry Buchelnikov was particularly lively, causing plenty of problems for the Torpedo defence with his tenacious approach.
Our team deservedly made the breakthrough during a 5-on-3 powerplay in the 17th minute.
When connecting with Damir Zhafyarov’s pinpoint pass across the crease, Dmitrij Jaskin had no trouble in knocking the puck under Torpedo goalkeeper Ivan Kulbakov.
SKA continued pressing a somewhat unorganised Torpedo with intent throughout the second stanza.
Nevertheless, Torpedo were threatening on the counter-attack too. At point-blank range, Sergei Goncharuk seemed certain to grab an equaliser against the run of play, but Dmitry Nikolaev came up trumps for SKA with a stunning point-blank save when it seemed impossible for the puck to stay out.
Following that scare, it was one-way traffic at the Ice Palace, and SKA deservedly doubled their money with three minutes remaining in the period as Valentin Zykov expertly knocked the puck into the gaping net with Kulbakov out of position.
Initially, it had appeared that Vladislav Tsitsyura had scored with the first shot in that particular play, but the puck had in fact hit both posts and stayed out before Zykov pounced on the rebound.
The third period didn’t see any change in the flow of play.
SKA practically put the match to bed in the 43rd minute. Caught horribly out of position, the Torpedo defence was nowhere to be seen, and Alexander Volkov beautifully backhanded beyond the exposed Kulbakov into the right corner after receiving an intelligent pass from Zykov on the counter.
To their credit, Torpedo did subsequently draw a few penalties out of SKA in the closing stages as they searched for a way back into proceedings. However, SKA protected Nikolaev in net effectively, helping the impressive 22-year-old goalkeeper to register his maiden shutout in the KHL.
SKA will now prepare to host Admiral Vladivostok in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
SKA – Torpedo – 3:0 (1:0, 1:0, 1:0)
1:0 Jaskin (Zhafyarov, Khairullin), 16.54 PPG
2:0 Zykov (Tsitsyura, Volkov), 36.54
3:0 Volkov (Zykov, Kamalov), 42.16
Goalkeepers: Nikolaev – Kulbakov
Shots: 58 – 41
Shots on target: 26 – 18
Faceoffs: 36 – 19
Hits: 20 – 7
Blocked shots: 15 – 10
Penalty minutes: 6 – 10
Referees: Sergeev, Soin
Linesmen: Ponamarenko, Chernyshyov
26.09.2022. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.