SKA hosted HC Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in Saint Petersburg for the final KHL match before the international break. Head coach Oleg Znarok made a number of changes for this game, notably giving forward Denis Orlovich-Grudkov his senior SKA debut in the KHL. Igor Shestyorkin and Ivan Lisutin were the starting goaltenders.
Unfortunately, Torpedo scored within the first two minutes. A juicy rebound fell to the stick of Yegor Dugin, who hammered a one timer under Igor Shestyorkin’s blocker. That goal gave Torpedo confidence, as the visitors created some early pressure inside SKA’s zone. Nevertheless, our players grabbed an important equaliser. Jarno Koskiranta reacted quickest on the slot, turning a loose puck into the left corner. Buoyed by the leveller, SKA promptly netted a second when on the powerplay. Nikita Gusev faked a pass, opted to shoot, and caught the goalkeeper cold. Torpedo opted to make a goalkeeping change after that goal, with Stanislav Galimov replacing Ivan Lisutin. Nikita Gusev could have netted a third SKA marker, but he lashed wide of an open net.
Hungry to get back in the match, Torpedo improved in the second stanza. Yury Sergienko made it a 2:2 game midway through the period, thumping a heavy slap shot beyond the grasp of Igor Shestyorkin. The visitors were in control of the game for long spells of the frame, pinning our players in their own zone. SKA were having trouble creating chances, but on a late powerplay, Vyacheslav Voynov blasted a rocket into the net to give SKA a second lead in the game.
Vyacheslav Voynov amazingly scored his second goal of the day in the third period, netting with an identical attempt just one minute after the restart. However, to the Ice Palace’s horror, Torpedo had a nasty surprise up their sleeves. Denis Parshin got Torpedo back to within one, bundling the puck home after it escaped Igor Shestyorkin’s glove. Our players were hanging on for dear life, but with four minutes remaining, Yegor Dugin tied it up on the crease. Holding the momentum, Torpedo then drew a cheap penalty out of SKA’s Dinar Khafizullin, a powerplay which saw the visitors go agonizingly close to winning in regulation.
No one could score in a frantic overtime, meaning that penalty shots were required. It took seven rounds to separate the two teams, but goals from Andrei Zubarev and Nikita Gusev sealed a pulsating 5:4 SKA victory!
SKA – Torpedo – 5:4 SO (2:1, 1:1, 1:2, 0:0, 1:0)
0:1 Dugin (Barantsev, Daugavins), 01.47
1:1 Koskiranta (Voynov, Karpov), 06.46
2:1 Gusev (Prokhorkin), 09.20
2:2 Sergienko (Dugin, Daugavins), 30.39
3:2 Voynov (Shirokov), 36.28
4:2 Voynov (Plotnikov, Kalinin), 41.29
4:3 Parshin (Galuzin), 49.08
4:4 Dugin (Daugavins, Grachyov), 55.50
5:4 Gusev, 65.00
Goalkeepers: Shestyorkin – Lisutin/Galimov
Shots on target: 42 – 23
Penalty minutes: 6 – 10
Faceoffs: 37 – 20
Hits: 21 – 13
Referees: Bondar, Gusev
04.11.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.