Vyacheslav Bykov’s eagerly-awaited return to KHL coaching ended with a victory for SKA over Lokomotiv – but the Petersburg team showed its qualities and problems in an entertaining 5-3 win.
Everyone knows about SKA’s powerful offense, and it took just seven seconds for summer signing Jimmie Ericsson to open the scoring, pouncing on the rebound from a Viktor Tikhonov shot. A power play effort from Yury Alexandrov doubled the advantage in the fourth minute and Loko’s new head coach Sean Simpson was forced to call an early time-out.
Whatever the former Swiss national coach said had the right effect, though: Kirill Kapustin and Geoff Platt scored to tie it up before the first intermission to remind the home fans that defensive frailties still need to be addressed here.
Two power play goals early in the second took it to 3-3: Evgeny Dadonov got a debut goal for SKA before ex-Lev man Martin Thornberg cancelled it out within a minute.
Ultimately though it fell to Ilya Kovalchuk to win i ...