Nesterov, Nikita

European Game Day: 3-14-12

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals (Russia):
Chelyabinsk took a 1-0 series lead over Kazan with a 3-1 Game One victory. Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov scored the winner for Traktor. Nikita Nesterov did not dress for the match. Game Two is Friday.

SM-slutspel Quaterfinals(Sweden):
(7)AIK 3 @ (1)Lulea 2
AIK Leads the Series 2-1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Uh oh. AIK raced out to a 3-0 lead today in Game Three and held on late to defeat top seed Lulea 3-2. The upset-minded club got a goal from ex-Hurricanes and Red Wings draft pick Kent McDonell in the match. Game Four is set for Friday.

European Game Day: 3-12-12

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals (Russia):
The field is now set in the Eastern Conference of the KHL. Top seed Chelyabinsk will face Ak Bars Kazan beginning on Wednesday with Game One of the series. With his MHL club finished for the season, expect Chelyabinsk's Nikita Nesterov to be a spot player for the KHL side the rest of the postseason.

MHL Playoffs (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. will start their MHL title defense on Thursday against St. Petersburg Jr. CSKA Jr. finished 2nd in the MHL Central Division while Sr. Petersburg Jr. finished 3rd in the MHL Northwest Division. We'll see if sniper Nikita Kucherov appears after missing much of the last month of hockey.

SM-slutspel (Sweden):
(1)Lulea 2 @ (7) AIK 4
Series Tied at 1-1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

AIK rode 3 second period goals to a 4-2 Game Two victory over top seed Lulea. Game Three is set for Wednesday.

European Game Day: 3-10-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 3 @ KalPa 0
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, SO, 18/18, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 20-9-1, 7 SO, 1.62 GAA, .936 sv%

Riku Helenius and JYP dominated the league's top team, KalPa, 3-0, to move themselves within an eyelash of clinching a first round playoff bye. Helenius posted his 7th shutout of the season and was named third star of the game. He is now second in the league in save percentage, first in GAA, and first in shutouts. His shutout mark is particularly impressive given he was in a tandem starter situation for much of the first half of the season. With 2 games remaining in the regular season, JYP's magic number is 1 point: 1 point gained or 1 point lost by 7th place Karpat, to clinch the opening round bye. They face Jokerit next on Tuesday.

KHL Playoff (Russia):
It's been all chalk so far in the KHL playoffs as all higher seeds have won in the Quarterfinal round, thus far. Novgorod knocked off Dynamo Riga 2-0 today in Game Seven to finalize the combatants in the Semis in the West. In the East, Magnitogorsk and Astana go in Game Seven tomorrow, after which we'll know who top seed Chelyabinsk will face in the Semis.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 1 @ Novokuznetsk Jr. 5
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Regular Season totals (MHL): 41 GP, 11-20-31, +11, 66 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

While the big club awaits for a Semifinal opponent, Nikita Nesterov was back with the junior team today in its 5-1 loss to Novokuznetsk Jr. He took a minor for slashing in the contest. The game was Chelyabinsk Jr.'s final contest of the regular season. The team did not qualify for the playoffs out of the Ural-Siberia Division, finishing 6th of 8 teams. Expect Nesterov to be a Black Ace and spot starter for the KHL side for the remainder of their playoff run.

KHK MVD Jr. 4 @ CSKA Jr. 5 (OT)
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

In the "just not fair" department, CSKA, which was eliminated from the KHL postseason, sent former Blue Jackets first rounder Nikita Filatov down to the MHL today. All he did was post 1-2-3 to lead CSKA Jr. to a 5-4 OT win over KHK MVD Jr. Nikita Kucherov did not appear in the match. CSKA Jr. has qualified for the postseason, finishing 2nd in the Central Division, and will have the opportunity to defend their MHL title in the playoffs. One would think if they're allowed to play Filatov, they might have a really good chance to do just that.

SM-slutspel Quarterfinals (Sweden)
(7) AIK 3 @ (1) Lulea 6
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju had a power play goal and even strength assist in Lulea's 6-3 Game One thumping of AIK. Game Two is Monday.

KHL Game Day: 3-7-12

KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia):
(1)Chelyabinsk 1 @ (8)Khanty-Mansiysk 0
Chelyabinsk Wins the Series 4-1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, DNP
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

Nikita Nesterov was sent down prior to Chelyabinsk's 1-0 Game Five victory over Khanty-Mansiysk. Vladimir Antipov's 7th goal of the playoffs at 11:01 of the third period sealed Traktor's series win. Chelyabinsk and Omsk are already through to the Semifinals in the Eastern Conference.

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).

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