Kucherov, Nikita

European Game Day: 11-25-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 1 @ Jokerit 0 (SO)
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 26/26, SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 12 GP, 7-5-0, 5 SO, 1.42 GAA, .937 sv%

12 starts, 5 shutouts. 42% of the time JYP has started Riku Helenius (pictured) this season, he's pitched an 0-fer. In today's shutout, Helenius ran the table with 26 saves in regulation and overtime before slamming the door on every single Jokerit attempt in the shootout. JYP's shootout goal by Antti Jaatinen ended up being the only time the goal light was turned on all night for either club. Helenius grabbed second star honors for his efforts, and JYP moves on to face KalPa on Tuesday. At what point does Helenius start playing his way back into the conversation as a legitimate NHL prospect for the Lightning? It would be the greatest Bolt Prospects story ever.

KHL (Russia):
From 11-24-11
Chelyabinsk 4 @ Dynamo Minsk 2
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 6-9-15, +12, 20 PIM

Nikita Nesterov earned a post-Super Series callup to the KHL side and was scoreless in Chelyabinsk's 4-2 win over Minsk. He played 8:09 in the match and took a minor for high sticking in the first period. The d-man had played very limited minutes in one other KHL game earlier this year. Chelyabinsk's big club plays Chekhov next on Saturday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Astana Jr. 3 @ CSKA Jr. 2
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Season totals (MHL): 14 GP, 13-15-28, +8, 28 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM

Despite 2 late goals, CSKA Jr. fell short 3-2 to Astana Jr. Nikita Kucherov did not dress for CSKA Jr. They will rematch on Saturday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 3 @ HV 71 1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 24 GP, 9-4-13, +4, 8 PIM

Lulea starter Johan Gustavsson stopped 21 of 22 shots he faces to lead his club to a 3-1 win over HV 71. Lulea faces Timra on Tuesday. They're currently 4th on the Elitserien table.

Prospect of the Week (11.21.11)

This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions. There are no trophies or plaques or flyovers involved, but we’re pretty sure this will be mentioned on this player’s career highlight video.

Quite simply, we wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospect’s achievement on the ice.

European Game Day: 11-19-11

SM-liiga (Finland):
HPK 4 @ JYP 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 11 GP, 6-5-0, 4 SO, 1.56 GAA, .930 sv%

JYP was bounced hard by HPK in the second half of a home-and-home 4-1. JYP will get quite a few days off to lick their wounds, as they don't play again until Friday against Jokerit.

Elitserien (Sweden):
HV 71 2 @ Lulea 1 (OT)
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 8-3-11, +2, 8 PIM

Johan Harju's second period goal wasn't enough offense for Lulea, which fell 2-1 to HV 71. Ex-Oilers draft pick Mikko Luoma had the winning goal in overtime. Lulea gets Linkopings on Wednesday.

With the Subway Super Series now over, look for Nikita Nesterov to possibly return to action for Chelyabinsk Jr. tomorrw against Mytischi Jr. CSKA Jr.'s next game is Tuesday against Khanty-Mansiysk Jr., and that game may be Nikita Kucherov's first back.

Subway Super Series: Game 6 (11-17-11)

WHL All-Stars 5 vs. Russia 7

Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 2-1-3, +5, 2 PIM (hooking)
Series totals: 6 GP, 4-3-7, 2 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM
Series totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, 2 PIM

Kucherov and Russia finished with a bang to tie the overall Superseries between CHL teams and Russia 3-3. The Russians were down 4-2 and 5-3 at different points in the game before they came roaring back. Kucherov's second goal came on a "beauty of a breakaway" as one reporter put it. Nikita Gusev, the undrafted pint-sized scoring star who is a teammate of Kucherov's for CSKA's junior team, was player of the match for Russia with a goal, two assists, and a plus-5 rating. Kucherov finishes the series against Canada's best junior competition at more than a point per game. While defense takes a back seat in these series, it is still encouraging that he can score with the best of his age group.

Subway Super Series: Game 5 (11-16-11)

WHL All-Stars 5 vs. Russia 2

Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (hooking)
Series totals: 5 GP, 2-2-4, 2 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Series totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, 2 PIM

Russia scored the game’s first goal and had it tied at two later in the game, but the WHL scored three times to win 5-2 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Neither Lightning prospect had a point in the game for Russia. The two teams play again Thursday night in Moose Jaw.

The CHL leads the series 3-2.

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