In Moscow, SKA couldn’t defeat HC CSKA for the second time in the 2020/2021 KHL regular season, conceding a 1:3 defeat on the road.
CSKA came flying out of the blocks in the first period. As expected, the hosts pressed SKA with their intense approach, testing Yaroslav Askarov on a regular basis and creating a series of promising openings. Unfortunately, their early pressure did result in an opening goal midway through the frame, as Brendan Leipsic connected with a clever pass from behind the net to go top shelf on Askarov.
Nevertheless, SKA did begin to improve towards the end of the first period, going close through a dangerous attempt from Oscar Fantenberg and cleverly drawing two successive tripping penalties out of the home team.
Our players did continue their promising form for the majority of the second stanza.
Starting to compete on the front foot, SKA began to gradually force the issue in the attacking zone, with Anton Belov forcing Lars Johansson into a tough stop from a promising position and Vasily Podkolzin constantly causing the home team problems with his energetic play. However, in the penultimate minute of the period, Konstantin Okulov bundled the puck in following a goalmouth scramble on the powerplay to double CSKA’s money. SKA boss Valeri Bragin did use his coach’s challenge for goaltender interference, but the goal was ruled a legitimate one after the ensuing video review.
SKA did manage to halve the deficit at the start of the third period.
Clean through, Emil Galimov finally got out team on the board, lashing an unstoppable wrister under Johansson’s glove. Buoyed by that goal, SKA did have something to build on in the Russian capital, but CSKA promptly went up the other end and reinstated their two-goal buffer a mere 120 seconds later.
Pouncing on the loose puck, Sergei Andronov brought the home fans to their feet again, carefully lifting his effort over Askarov’s blocker when unchallenged.
Throughout the remainder of the third period, SKA desperately searched for a way back into the game and pulled Askarov in the concluding minute, but CSKA calmly kept the away side at bay to secure their 3:1 victory.
SKA will now prepare to face Avtomobilist in Yekaterinburg on Tuesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 17:00 Moscow time.
CSKA - SKA - 3:1 (1:0, 1:0, 1:1)
1:0 Leipsic (Popov, Soshnikov), 09.12
2:0 Okulov (Kiselevich, Shalunov), 38.36
2:1 Galimov (Kemppainen, Kirsanov), 42.40
3:1 Andronov (Robinson), 44.48
Goalkeepers: Johansson - Askarov
Shots on target: 27 - 21
Faceoffs: 20 - 33
Hits: 3 - 9
Penalty minutes: 6 - 6
Referees: Sidorenko, Frano
17.01.2021. CSKA Arena, Moscow.