First home win for SKA
Game Recap: SKA - Metallurg

NOV.13 -- St.Petersburg became the last RSL team to win at home this season, as on Wednesday night SKA held off the punchless Magnitogorsk, 2-1, at the Ice Palace.

The home team had nine (!) newcomers in its line-up, while the visitors had just one - Dmitry Khristich, veteran of 10 NHL seasons, played his first game since being signed. However Khristich wasn't much of a factor, so weren't the rest of Metallurg's top players.

SKA got on board first. Late in the opening period while having a man advantage Metallurg players gave the puck away to Nikolai Syrtsov. SKA's rearguard rushed into Metallurg's zone and set up Ilya Gorbushin for a shot. Igor Karpenko was able to block forward's powerful slapper, but Syrtsov jumped on the rebound for his third tally of the season.

Valery Belousov's side failed to cash on three straight power plays over the second period. SKA's netminder Sergei Naumov was up to the task making several key saves, as the visitors fired at him 15 shots in the period. Metallurg's best chance came 12 minutes into period when Khristich hit the goal post.

Magnitogorsk equalized midway through the third period, as Alex Selivanov was persistent in going to the net. However eleven seconds was enough for Boris Mikhailov's side to restore its lead. Andrei Galushkin snicked down the right side into opposition's zone and from quite a sharp angle wristed a missile past Karpenko. On the play Ukrainian goalie went down too early, as the puck went in over his shoulder.

Belousov took the goalie out in favor of an extra skater, but St.Petersburg resisted and Egor Bashkatov even added a third goal which, however, was called back, as referee had blown his whistle seconds earlier.

"Finally a win at home!" - joyfully shouted Mikhailov after the game. "As you've seen we had quite a lot of new faces in the line-up. I'm glad they all battled hard tonight and I'm convinced that we can build on this victory."

SKA went 0-7-1 at home prior to tonight's win.

-- Max Dostoevsky

(C) RSB