In a close battle, SKA came up short against Torpedo on the road in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season, conceding a narrow 2:3 loss in Nizhny Novgorod.
Torpedo made a fast start at the Nagorny Arena. As usual, David Nemirovsky’s troops immediately began competing at a lightning-quick pace, crashing the net at any given opportunity and shooting on sight.
As a result of a problem with his skates, Andrei Tikhomirov had to be replaced by Alexei Murygin in the opposing during the first few shifts, but the former did return after the Torpedo servicemen fixed the issue.
The hosts took the lead on the powerplay in the second minute after SKA had missed a handful of opportunities. At the blue line, Theodor Lunnstrom took aim, and his attempt was inadvertently tipped beyond Alexander Samonov by SKA defenseman Kirill Kirsanov.
Our team conjured up a response in the eighth minute. Powering past his marker on the right flank, Evgeny Timkin got the better of Tikhomirov, firing a wrister under the blocker.
However, after SKA ran into penalty trouble, Marek Hrivik reinstated Torpedo’s lead from the doorstep. Furthermore, the same player then grabbed his second moments later, tapping Kenny Agostino’s intelligent pass in. Samonov was pulled in favour of Lars Johansson after that marker.
Towards the end of the frame, our team did have a number of chances on the powerplay, with Kirill Marchenko and Joonas Kemppainen going particularly close from wonderful positions.
SKA promptly grabbed their second goal in the fourth minute of the second stanza.
On the right flank, Mikhail Vorobyov lashed the puck across the slot, and a Torpedo defenseman knocked it over the line with SKA defenseman Daniil Pylenkov pressurizing him.
To their credit, Torpedo responded well to that goal, as the home team went on to compete on the front foot for the majority of the period. Alert in our net, Johansson made a series of important saves to keep SKA in the match, in particular pulling off a couple of tricky stops with his left pad. On one occasion, Torpedo were presented with an empty net following a goalmouth scramble, but none of their players could tap it in.
In the closing minutes of the period, SKA were gifted a 5-on-3 powerplay after Torpedo lost their discipline slightly, but not many clear chances arrived during that two-man advantage.
The ensuing third period saw Torpedo defend stoutly and not give their guests many chances to get back on level terms. We must also point out that Murygin was back in their net after Tikhomirov’s equipment problems had not allowed him to take to the ice for the third frame.
In our goal, Johansson was making the more difficult saves, with SKA gifting Torpedo two powerplays in quick succession. With the minutes ticking down, SKA had one more chance on the powerplay to tally the third goal, but Murygin stood tall to the task despite our coaches having pulled Johansson for the extra skater.
Linden Vey had our best opportunity, backhanding into Murygin when the puck fell loose on the slot.
SKA will now prepare to face Spartak in Moscow on Tuesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
Torpedo - SKA - 3:2 (3:1, 0:1, 0:0)
1:0 Lennstrom (Agostino, Shenfeld), 01.53
1:1 Timkin (Pylenkov), 07.56
2:1 Hrivik (Shenfeld, Chekhovich), 11.50
3:1 Hrivik (Agostino, Lennstrom), 13.53
3:2 Vorobyov (Kuzmenko), 23.07
Goalkeepers: Tikhomirov/Murygin - Samonov/Johansson
Shots on target: 27 - 33
Faceoffs: 30 - 30
Hits: 9 - 5
Penalty minutes: 21 - 17
Referees: Sergeev, Yudakov
12.09.2021. Nagorny Arena, Nizhny Novgorod.