SKA handed a debut to 22-year-old goalie Mikhail Berdin, signed on loan from the Winnipeg Jets. Last season, Berdin played 42 games in the AHL with Manitoba; before crossing the Atlantic he learned his hockey in Ufa and Cherepovets. But his first KHL game did not go according to plan.
The first signs of trouble came midway through the first period when Yefim Gurkin fired the puck towards the far post and saw it fly in off the skate of a home defenseman. With chances at a premium throughout the opening frame, SKA responded thanks to a penalty shot from Ivan Morozov after Evgeny Timkin was fouled by Mikael Ruohomaa.
The middle frame saw Sibir deploy its counterattacking game. SKA had plenty of possession, but struggled to get good looks at Harri Sateri in the visitor’s net. Sibir, meanwhile, made its forays into enemy territory count. Gurkin set up Evgeny Chesalin to make it 2-1 after 26 minutes before, late in the frame, Jusso Puustinen stole the puck in the SKA zone and beat Berdin to make it 3-1.
The Finn added a fourth goal in the final frame. He got the redirect on Konstantin Alexeyev’s shot from the blue line to put the game beyond SKA. The home team again struggled to create clear chances and Sibir was able to close out the game for an eye-catching victory against the Western Conference leader.