This season’s Army derbies between SKA and CSKA have taken on an extra resonance with both teams riding high at the top of the KHL table, so it was no surprise that tonight’s big game was a 12,000-seat sell-out well in advance.
And most of those fans in St. Petersburg went home happy after seeing SKA take a 3-1 verdict to snap CSKA’s six-game winning streak, thanks largely to a pair of first period goals from Artemy Panarin.
In the third minute he opened the scoring, putting away the rebound after a mighty shot from Andrei Kuteikin cannoned back off the boards. His second came from a penalty shot after he was fouled by Evgeny Korotkov. Amid a wall of noise from the stands Panarin kept his composure and slipped the puck past Stanislav Galimov’s pad with a backhand finish.
CSKA offered little in the first period but got a goal back after the intermission when Alexander Radulov set up Mikhail Naumenkov in the 33rd minute. Hopes of a revival were short-lived though as Panarin got his third poi ...