Hammered at home in game one, SKA responded to edge a 2-1 verdict over Spartak and tie this Western Conference semi final series. Igor Ozhiganov’s third-period goal made the difference before the action moves to Moscow on Tuesday.

SKA St. Petersburg 2 Spartak Moscow 1 (1-0, 0-1, 1-0)

(Series tied at 1-1)

After scoring six on SKA in the series opener, Spartak found things rather different in game two. The home defense was in far less generous mood and it wasn’t until deep into the first period that Lars Johansson had to make his first save of the game.

By that time, SKA had the lead. The home team was not at its most fluent on offense, but opened the scoring midway through the opening session when Oscar Dansk offered up a big rebound from Emil Galimov’s shot and Alexander Volkov was on hand to tuck away the loose puck. That was a first playoff goal for the 24-year-old, and only his second in the KHL.

In the last minute of the first period, SKA fouled twice and Spartak had a 5-on-3 power play for a minute at the start of the middle frame. However, the Red-and-Whites were unable to take advantage, with Dmitry Vishnevsky’s speculative shot flashing wide of the post as the home PK did its job. Back at equal strength, Spartak created a more dangerous opportunity when Sergei Shirokov emerged from behind the net to find Jori Lehtera in the left-hand circle, but the Finn’s shot went straight into Johansson’s chest.

At the other end, SKA was close to extending its lead when Mikhail Vorobyov’s shot scorched Dansk’s glove and dropped behind the goalie. However, Danila Moiseyev was unable to force it over the line and Spartak remained just one goal in arrears. And the visitor made good use of that reprieve, tying the scores on the next attack. The visitor caught SKA on a line change and a stretch pass released Alexander Khokhlachyov into the zone. He found Lehtera, who shaped to shoot and when Johansson moved to make the save, dropped the puck back for Khokhlachyov to squeeze a shot beyond the goalie’s outstretched pad.

Early in the third, SKA’s Vasily Tokranov was in danger of taking a major penalty when he crunched Ivan Drozdov into the boards. After a video check, though, the defenseman escaped with a minor and his team-mates comfortably killed the penalty. Then it was Spartak’s turn to work on the PK when Jakub Jerabek sat for tripping. Once again, the man advantage produced little prospect of a goal.

But when the teams were back at even strength, SKA regained the lead. Moiseyev went down the left-hand channel and picked out a lovely cross-ice pass from the goal line. Waiting at the other end, Igor Ozhiganov fired in a shot from the right-hand circle and, helped by a deflection off a Spartak defenseman, made it 2-1.

There was still time for Spartak to cause a couple of scares: Khokhlachyov tested Johansson with an awkward shot, Dmitry Kugryshev could not quite convert a rebound from Maxim Tsyplakov’s effort and Lehtera laid a tempting feed that the home defense just kept away from Khokhlachyov. At the other end, though, Shirokov had to get back to his own goal line to prevent an empty-net goal in the dying seconds before the hooter confirmed SKA’s verdict.

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SKA (Saint Petersburg) SKA (Saint Petersburg)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
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