In the final game of this KHL home series, SKA took on HC Vityaz Podolsk in Saint Petersburg. Head coach Oleg Znarok gave Swedish defenseman David Rundblad a chance in this match, instating him into the first line. Igor Shestyorkin and Mikhail Biryukov were the starting netminders.
Our players made a slow start inside the Ice Palace, failing to get anything going in Vityaz's zone. On the other hand, the visitors were proving to be dangerous on the counterattack, as they forced Igor Shestyorkin into a few early saves. Unfortunately, Vityaz managed to make the breakthrough. Former SKA forward Maxim Afinogenov found space on a breakaway, pulled to the backhand and fired over the goalkeeper's glove.
Nevertheless, SKA improved in the second period. It didn't take long for the team to tie the game, with Sergei Kalinin jamming the puck in after a juicy rebound appeared. However, to the Ice Palace's horror, Vityaz retook the lead in practically the next play. Roman Rukavishnikov poorly gave the puck away, allowing Ivan Yatsenko to score at the high slot. The fans were getting worried, but towards the end of the frame, Sergei Shirokov made it 2:2 with a stunning solo effort - bursting down the right wing, he went top shelf from a tight angle.
On the powerplay, SKA's players earned their first lead in the game. Patrik Hersley was at it again, thumping in a trademark one timer. It seemed as though SKA would go on to dominate, but Vityaz had other ideas. They equalised just seventeen seconds after that goal, taking advantage of a bouncing puck on the slot - Alexander Denezhkin the scorer. As time ran down, SKA laid siege to the Vityaz net, but Mikhail Biryukov made some amazing saves to somehow keep the away team in the game.
It went to overtime, where Igor Shestyorkin became the hero. He pulled off a fantastic stop early on, stoning Roman Horak one on one. Penalty shots were required, and SKA finally made their class count. Nikita Gusev and Pavel Datsyuk scored, and with Igor Shestyorkin saving all of Vityaz's attempts, SKA beat Vityaz 2:0 in the shootout to claim a dramatic 4:3 victory!
SKA - Vityaz - 4:3 SO (0:1, 2:1, 1:1, 0:0 - 1:0)
0:1 Afinogenov (Syomin), 10.31
1:1 Kalinin (Shirokov, Tikhonov), 21.55
1:2 Yatsenko (Horal). 22.57
2:2 Shirokov, 32.16
3:2 Hersley (Datsyuk, Kovalchuk), 40.46
3:3 Denezhkin (Romanov), 41.03
4:3 Gusev, 65.00
Goalkeepers: Shestyorkin - Biryukov
Shots on target: 44 - 30
Penalty minutes: 0 - 10
Faceoffs: 36 - 21
Hits: 9 - 10
Referees: Belov, Olenin
27.08.2017. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.