If there ever is a season, Ilya Kovalchuk will hit the ground running. He potted the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win on Thursday against Sibir Novosibirsk.
A few minutes into the second period, Kovalchuk put SKA out in front and they held on the rest of the way. At 4:26 of the stanza, he took a pass along the goal line and waltzed towards the goal mouth. He roofed home a wrist shot over the goaltender at a seemingly impossible angle. Then of course, the SKA fans get treated to a classic Kovalchuk celebration. It’s not as good as some of these, but still enjoyable to see the passion from the Russian. Check out the goal below.
Just over three minutes later, Alexander Kucheryavenko got the insurance tally that SKA needed to claim the victory. Goaltender Ilya Ezhov posted 25 saves to pick up the shutout.
As of Sunday, Kovalchuk is fifth in the KHL in assists with 12 and seventh in points with 18 points.
SKA hosts Atlant on Monday. Atlant features former NHL defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and former Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nikolai Zherdev.