SKA St. Petersburg faced off against CSKA Moscow in a important Kontinental Hockey League match for National Hockey League fans. SKA had NHL players like New Jersey Devils' Ilya Kovalchuk, St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko and Phoenix Coyotes' Viktor Tikhonov. Detroit Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk, Philadelphia Flyers' goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, Nashville Predators' Alexander Radulov and Toronto Maple Leafs' Mikhail Grabovski headline CSKA's roster.
During the NHL lockout, fans and writers are looking overseas to keep an eye on their team's players.
As the headline states, Ilya Kovalchuk lead the way to victory for SKA by scoring three goals. Also, he lead the way for a comeback. His first goal was four minutes after being down 2-0 off goals from Pavel Datsyuk in the first and Mikko Maenpaa in the second.
Kovalchuk scored off a rebound left out by Ilya Bryzgalov in the slot that was just too easy. That followed in the third period with a shot from Vladimir Tarasenko that slipped through Bryzgalov's arm, while Kovalchuk was there to tap the puck home.
Then to close the game out, Kovalchuk scored his hat trick from a Tarasenko pass behind the net, while he was breaking to the top of the crease. There, Kovi scored over Bryz's shoulder to close the game, 4-2 in favor of SKA.
A huge comeback by SKA no doubt that led with stupid penalties from CSKA. Alexander Radulov took penalties late in the game out of frustration that disabled CSKA to earn any momentum. Also, he undoubtedly has great skill, but his unwillingness to pass the puck has to be fixed.
At around the half way point of the third period, CSKA was on a 5-on-3 power play for two minutes. Evgeni Artyukin delivered a massive elbow to the head of Niklas Persson that left blood on the ice and sent Artyukin to the locker room with a five minute major with a game misconduct.
The players out on the ice for the 5-on-3 were Igor Radulov, Alex Radulov, Pavel Datsyuk, Mikhail Gabovski and Mikko Maenpaa. There was way too much passing and not enough shooting. Grabovski had three opportunities to shoot from the top of the crease on SKA's goalie, but decided to dish it out to the point, where their shot was blocked.
Not taking advantage of a two minute 5-on-3 and a three minute 5-on-4 really hurt CSKA's chances of coming back into the game.
- Ilya Bryzgalov wasn't looking good at all. He looked very shaky and was out of position. CSKA expects more out of him or they could possibly sit him down for a game. Bryzgalov stopped 22 of 26 shots.
- Ilya Kovalchuk had a hat-trick. He capitalized on every chance that came his way.
- Alexander Radulov did the exact opposite of Kovalchuk tonight. Radulov couldn't take advantage of his chances. Radulov had two assists.
- Viktor Tikhonov has very good hands. The Phoenix Coyotes' forward needs to get back to the NHL so everyone can see his stick skills. Tikhonov had one assist.
- Vladimir Tarasenko had three assists. Tarasenko is a star to watch for in St. Louis in the next couple seasons.
- Pavel Datsyuk scored the first goal of the game and added an assist later. He looked unapparent after the first period.