”The game was a bit strange today with lots of different weird things happening. It was good that we found a way to win. I have liked playing in KHL a lot in general as there is a lot of speed and many talented guys on the ice”, said Jokerit defenceman Otto Leskinen, who is playing his first season in the KHL.
The visitors from Nizhni Novgorod had started their season with a variety of performances – the first six games brought Torpedo three wins, but also three losses.
Jokerit experienced some tough times as the game shifted from side to side. The home team took some unfortunate penalties, which almost costed them the game. In the end, the conclusion came in the shootouts.
”The first period was 2–0 for us, but we didn’t play that well. The second period was not discipline enough from us and when the opponent scores three times, it’s never a good thing”, Jokerit head coach Lauri Marjamäki analyzed after the game.
Jokerit started the game with good puck-possession and had the confidence to control the pace according to their likings. Torpedo only got a few long-distance shots towards Janne Juvonen, who was in turn to guard Jokerit net.
Torpedo started to get into the game as the period went on. Anyhow, many of the efforts to attack to Jokerit net dried out as the puck slipped from the player’s sticks to either being an offside or getting out of reach.
Kenny Agostino got a huge chance in front of Juvonen’s net, but fell a little short in capitalizing the score. The fortune took a quick turn, when Jokerit got the puck back to Torpedo’s end. Iiro Pakarinen had a strong play and as a consequence the puck found its’ way behind Pyotr Kochetkov.
When Jokerit got their first chance on power play, they didn’t spend too much time day dreaming. The puck ways played straight to the net and Nicklas Jensen was ready to score the second goal for the home team in his game of return. The period ended with both teams spending time in the penalty box simultaneously.
Also the second period started the way Jokerit preferred. The third line created a great scoring chance, but neither Markus Hännikäinen nor Teemu Turunen were able to get the puck past Kochetkov.
Torpedo scored their first goal, when Sergei Goncharuk was able to steal the puck from Jokerit defenceman Petteri Lindbohm after a good ascent from the neutral zone. The visitors got the momentum after their goal and forced David Sklenicka to take a penalty and make Jokerit play short-handed.
Jokerit managed to keep the score in their favor and balanced the events on the ice the way that Torpedo didn’t get good chances in a while. Philip Holm’s minor penalty brought the visitors back to the same page with Jokerit.
The atmosphere started to heat up as the second period got to its’ second half. There were many scuffles on the ice after the whistles.
When Torpedo tied the game with a goal scored by Artyom Mikheyev, took the most dramatic event of the game its place. Jokerit defenceman Alex Grant hit Goncharuk from behind in the corner receiving a five minute penalty. Torpedo’s power play got shut down, when goaltender Kochetkov tripped Brian O’Neill and got a minor penalty – evening the strenght.
Right in the next shift, when played four on four, Theodor Lennström skated in to breakaway and received a sweet pass from a fellow Swedishman Daniel Zaar. Juvonen wasn’t able to get a catch. However, Jordan Schroeder made the score 3–3 on the last minute of the second period.
On the third period Jokerit forced the game strongly to Kochetkov’s net making things difficult for the visitors. Jokerit forward Turunen and Torpedo’s defenceman Mark Marin had their own little brawl behind the net.
If Turunen showed showed his toughness with strenght, showed Schroeder his presence by scoring his second goal of the night from assist of Hännikäinen. Torpedo didn’t follow home team’s example, when they got a power play shortly after falling behind.
Jokerit started to focus on defending their lead wisely. They gave away the puck, when necessary and remained control, when the possibility came. Juvonen was mostly able to do his part of the job in peace.
The peace lasted until a few minutes were left on the clock. Torpedo was able to step up their game as they were trying to get the score even one more time – and that’s what they did. Mikhail Orlov got to tap the puck in from a close distance just a bit over a minute before the buzzer.
As the visitors forced the game to go on overtime, both of the teams secured themselves one point from the game. Torpedo had their huge scoring chances, but Juvonen got himself on the puck’s way.
Sklenicka’s second penalty of the game didn’t turn the result for Torpedo and Jokerit weren’t able to capitalize their chances in the last minute of the overtime. That meant that the game had to be settled with penalty shootout.
There Jesse Joensuu’s effort was already called as a goal, but the referees wanted to take it to video review. After a long time of discussion the goal remained. As that goal was the only goal scored in the penalty shootout, were Jokerit able to continue their winning streak.
”We found our way to victory. The third period was good except the penalty in the end. We scored five and played well short-handed, so we need to be happy with the win. Us coaches tend to over-analyze these games sometimes", Marjamäki thought.
Jokerit will continue their season on Saturday, when they will face Barys Nur-Sultan on their home ice. The game will end the week in Helsinki for the team as they head on tour for two games next week.
”I have been trying to catch the pace of the game. I will get it sooner or later. We have taken two big wins this week and seeking a third one on Saturday. We need to recover well from tonight’s game, so we can be ready then”, defenceman Leskinen knew.