Kucherov, Nikita

European Game Day: 3-8-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
Lukko 3 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 31 GP, 19-9-1, 6 SO, 1.68 GAA, .935 sv%

Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin's goal with 2:56 left in regulation broke a 3-3 tie and lifted JYP to a key 4-3 win over Lukko. The goal capped a hat trick for Perrin, who was named second star of the game. The victory moved JYP to third on the SM-liiga table, 4 points ahead of 7th place Assat, as the club tries to cling to its first round bye in the playoffs. JYP has three games remaining in the regular season, starting with KalPa on Saturday.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(5) Cherepovets 1 @ (4) Mytischi 2
Mytischi Wins the Series 4-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 28/30, 2.05 GAA, .933 sv%
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 2-4-0, 1 SO, 1.32 GAA, .958 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Nikolai Zherdev's goal with 5:00 left in regulation capped a 2 goal third period comeback and lifted Mytischi to a 2-1 Game Six win over Cherepovets. Severstal was eliminated from the playoffs in the defeat. Ex-Lightning first rounder Nikita Alexeev had Cherepovets' only goal.

St. Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, and Mytischi are through to the Semifinals in the West. Novgorod and Riga go on Saturday in a Game Seven matchup to determine who else makes it to the next round.

MHL (Russia Jr.)
KHK MVD Jr. 2 @ CSKA Jr. 4
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

In a rare event, Nikita Kucherov was held off the board in CSKA Jr.'s 4-2 win over KHK MVD Jr. The two teams rematch on Saturday.

SM-Slutspel (Sweden):
Lulea's opening round series with AIK will begin on Saturday in Lulea. Due to a peculiarity in the Elitserien playoff format, Johan Harju and top seed Lulea get the 7th seed, AIK, instead of the 8th seed, MODO.

European Game Day: 3-5-12 and 3-6-12

3-5-12
KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(8)Khanty-Mansiysk 3 @ (1)Chelyabinsk 6
Chelyabinsk Leads the Series 3-1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov had 2 goals and 1 assist in Chelyabinsk's 6-3 win over Yugra. Nikita Nesterov made his second appearance of the postseason after playing 1:54 in Chelyabinsk's wild 7-6 win on Sunday. He played 1:14 in Monday's match. Game Five is Wednesday.

Elsewhere, CSKA was eliminated from the KHL postseason after St. Peterburg clubbed them 5-0 in Game Five. Nikita Kucherov did not appear for CSKA in Game Five.

3-6-12
SM-liiga (Finland):
HIFK 2 @ JYP 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 25/27, 2.01 GAA, .926 sv%
Season totals: 31 GP, 19-9-1, 6 SO, 1.68 GAA, .935 sv%

For the first time in a very long time, Riku Helenius has a multi-game losing streak as HIFK defeated JYP 2-1. 3 games remain in the regular season for JYP. They hover a precarious 2 points ahead of 7th place Jokerit in their pursuit of a first round playoff bye, and they'll face Lukko on Thursday.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(4)Mytischi 3 @ (5) Cherepovets 1
Mytischi Leads the Series 3-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 32/34, 2.03 GAA, .941 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-3-0, 1 SO, 1.18 GAA, .963 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Branko Radivojevic scored a pair of goals to lead Mytischi to a critical Game Five win over Cherepovets. Ex-Blue Jackets first round Nikolai Zherdev had Mytischi's other goal in the match. Game Six is Thursday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. 12 @ Kirov-Chepetsk 3
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 3-1-4, +5, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 22 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov returned with a vengeance, notching a hat trick and an assist as CSKA Jr. dismantled Kirov-Chepetsk 12-3. Kucherov's long time linemate Nikita Gusev posted an even more impressive 2 goals and 6 points in the win. CSKA Jr. faces KHK MVD Jr. on Thursday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Vaxjo 1 @ Lulea 4
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on a third period goal in their 4-1 rout of Vaxjo. For Lulea, the game was their season finale. Lulea finishes out the regular season in the top spot in the Elitserien after going 25-13-17 this year. Lulea will face 8th place MODO in the first round of the playoffs. MODO finished 19-22-14 this year, and is the only postseason participant to have a negative goal differential (-1).

KHL Game Day: 3-4-12

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(5)Cherepovets 4 @ (4) Mytischi 0
Series Tied 2-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, SO, 30/30, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 2-2-0, 1 SO, 0.967 GAA, .968 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin threw a 30 save shutout to help Cherepovets even their opening round series with Mytischi at 2-2. Ex-Lightning first rounder Nikita Alexeev had a pair of assists in the match for Cherepovets. Game Five is Tuesday.

Elsewhere, CSKA looks to be on the way out after a Maxim Afinogenov overtime goal broke a 1-1 tie dropped them into a 3-1 series hole. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match.

Out West, Chelyabinsk outlasted Khanty-Mansiysk 7-6 to take a 2-1 series lead. A complete box score has not been posted yet, but Nikita Nesterov was a scratch for Game 1 and Game 2. We also know Nesterov was not in the lineup for Chelyabinsk Jr.'s 4-3 OT loss to Riga Jr. in the MHL. We will update as more information becomes available.

European Game Day: 3-3-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 4 @ Pelicans 6
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 30/35, 5.07 GAA, .857 sv%
Season totals: 30 GP, 19-8-1, 6 SO, 1.67 GAA, .935 sv%

Riku Helenius and JYP blew a 3-0 first period lead and fell 6-4 to Lahti. Ex-Lightning draft pick Radek Smolenak had 2 goals and 1 assist in the comeback win for Pelicans. JYP faces HIFK next on Tuesday. JYP has 5 games left in their regular season.

KHL (Russia):
Western Conference Quarterfinals
(5)Cherepovets 2 @ (4) Mytischi 1 (OT)
Mytischi Leads the Series 2-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 34/35, 0.87 GAA, .971 sv%
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-2-0, 0 SO, 1.27 GAA, .958 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ondrej Nemec scored 8:37 into overtime to lift Cherepovets to a 2-1 win over Mytischi in Game Three of their opening round series. Goaltender Vasily Koshechkin finally got some payoff in the win column, now having allowed just 4 goals in the series' first 3 games. Game Four is Sunday.

Elsewhere, Denis Parshin's overtime goal lifted CSKA to a 3-2 win over St. Petersburg, cutting SKA's series lead to 3-2 over the former Red Army squad. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match for CSKA.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 1 @ Skelleftea 3
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 15-9-24, +10, 16 PIM

Johan Harju scored the game's opening goal, but Lulea still fell 3-1 to Skelleftea. Second place Skelleftea no doubt got a moral victory from the win, but Lulea has already clinched the Elitserien regular season title. They'll play Vaxjo on Tuesday in the final match of the regular season.

European Game Day: 3-2-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
Ilves 3 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 29 GP, 19-7-1, 6 SO, 1.55 GAA, .939 sv%

Ex-Lightning draft pick Matias Sointu had 1 goal and 1 assist in defeat in Ilves' 4-3 loss to JYP. Backup Joni Myllkoski got the call in net for JYP. Helenius will likely go tomorrow against Pelicans Lahti. 5 games remain in the SM-liiga regular season. JYP is tied for third in the league, 3 points behind Pelicans and 5 points back of KalPa.

KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia):
Defenseman Nikita Nesterov has been scratched in the first two games of Chelyabinsk's opening round series against Khanty-Manisysk. The polar bears are tied 1-1 in the series after a 3-1 win on Thursday and a 5-2 loss today.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Nikita Kucherov was still out of the lineup for CSKA Jr.'s 4-3 OT win over Kazan Jr. They play Kirov-Chepetsk on Tuesday.

European Game Day: 3-1-12

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia):
(5)Cherepovets 1 @ (4) Mytischi 3
Mytischi Leads the Series 2-0

Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 32/34, 2.01 GAA, .941 sv%
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 0-2-0, 0 SO, 1.51 GAA, .951 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

You have to feel for Vasily Koshechkin. The big netminder has a beautiful .951 save percentage, but Cherepovets has mustered just 1 goal in 2 games against former Blues draft pick Konstantin Barulin, putting Cherepovets in a 3-1 series hole to Mytischi. Game Three is Saturday.

Elsewhere, ex-Lightning pick Fedor Fedorov had a pair of goals in St. Petersburg's 7-1 dismantling of 8 seed CSKA to take a 2-0 opening round series lead. Nikita Kucherov did not appear for CSKA in the match.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 1 @ AIK 0 (OT)
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 51 GP, 14-9-23, +9, 16 PIM

Elias Falth scored a power play goal 26 seconds into overtime to lead Lulea to a 1-0 win over AIK. With 2 games left in the regular season, the win puts Lulea 7 points up on second place Skelleftea and clinches the top spot for Lulea in the postseason. The two teams square off on Saturday.

Color me very impressed by Elitserien rookie goalie Johan Gustafsson of Lulea. He's currently forth in the league with a .930 save percentage and second in the league with a 1.77 GAA. He's also second in shutouts with 6, to boot, despite only having played 28 games. He was a 6th round pick of the Wild in 2010 and won Gold earlier this year at the U20 World Junior Championships.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 2-29-12

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia):
(4)Mytischi 1 @ (5)Cherepovets 0
Mytischi Leads the Series 1-0
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 26/27, 1.10 GAA, .963 sv%
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-1-0, 0 SO, 1.10 GAA, .963 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Nikolai Zherdev scored with just 38 seconds left in regulation to help Mytischi defeat Cherepovets 1-0 in Game One of their opening round series. Ex-Lightning prospect Alexei Glukhov was scoreless in 17:36 in the match for Mytischi. Game Two is scheduled for Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the East's top seed, St. Petersburg, clubbed CSKA in Game One of their opening round series. Nikita Kucherov did not play for CSKA. Kucherov also did not appear in CSKA Jr.'s 3-0 win over Novgorod Jr.

European Game Day: 2-26-12

2-26-12
KHL (Russia):
Chelyabinsk 5 @ Cherepovets 4
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, ND, 18/21, 5.62 GAA, .857 sv%
Season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Nikita Nesterov got the call, but played just 1:31 in Chelyabinsk's 5-4 win over Cherepovets.

Yesterday's matches were the final contests of the KHL regular season. Out West, 8th seeded CSKA will face top seed St. Petersburg starting Wednesday and 5th seeded Cherepovets will draw 4th seed Mytischi on the same day. In the East, top seed Chelyabinsk draws 8th seed Khanty-Mansiysk in the first round.

Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov remained out of the lineup for CSKA's MHL team today in their 3-1 win over Yaroslavl Jr. His long time teammate Nikita Gusev was up yesterday for CSKA's last match of the regular season. CSKA Jr. plays Novgorod Jr. next on Wednesday. The MHL regular season will end on 3-12-12.

KHL Game Day: 2-20-12

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 8 @ Chekhov 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, DNP
Season totals: 31 GP, 15-10-1, 6 SO, 2.35 GAA, .926 sv%

Ex-Devils first rounder Nicklas Bergfors had 1 goal and 1 assist for Cherepovets in their 8-2 rout of Chekhov. Cherepovets play Ekaterinburg on Wednesday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Novokuznetsk Jr. 3 @ CSKA Jr. 2
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Season totals (MHL): 21 GP, 21-18-39, +11, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov missed his second straight game in CSKA Jr.'s 3-2 loss to Novokuznetsk Jr. The club is off until next Monday when they'll face Yaroslavl Jr.

European Game Day: 2-18-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
HIFK 3 @ JYP 2
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 29/32, 3.06 GAA, .906 sv%
Season totals: 27 GP, 18-7-0, 6 SO, 1.55 GAA, .937 sv%

Ex-Lightning prospect Eero Somervuori had 1 goal and 1 assist in a first star effort to lead HIFK to a 3-2 win over JYP. The game marked a rare loss for goaltender Riku Helenius. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin also had a goal in the game for JYP. They face HPK on Tuesday.

MHL (Russia Jr.)
Chelyabinsk Jr. 1 @ Stupino 5
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 38 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 7 GP, 0-0-0, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov was -1 with a minor penalty as Chelyabinsk Jr. took a humiliating 5-1 loss at the hands of Stupino. The defenseman has been stuck at 30 points for a few games now. He'll have to wait until Tuesday against Khabarovsk Jr. to see if he can snap out of his slump.

Novosibirsk Jr. 1 @ CSKA Jr. 10
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Season totals (KHL): 21 GP, 21-18-39, +11, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

It hardly seems possible, but Nikita Kucherov was out of the lineup for CSKA Jr.'s punishing 10-1 win over Novosibirsk Jr. I know some young men from Siberia who regret getting off the team bus today. CSKA Jr. gets Novokuznetsk Jr. on Monday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Djurgardens 1 @ Lulea 2
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 47 GP, 13-7-20, +4, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on Elias Falth's game winning goal in Lulea's 2-1 win over Djurgardens. Falth, a defenseman, had both of Lulea's goals in the contest. Ex-Lightning prospect Andreas Holmqvist assisted on Djurgardens' lone goal. Lulea plays HV 71 on Tuesday.

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