European Leagues

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-19-14

Nadezhda Cup
Omsk 5 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 1
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansisysk, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Regular season totals: 44 GP, 8-6-14, -6, 10 PIM
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 3-3-6, -3, 0 PIM

Happy trails to Nikita Gusev and Yugra, who dropped the fourth and final game of their second round Nadezhda Cup matchup with Omsk 5-1. Gusev played 16:02 in the match and had a power play assist on his club's only goal. Omsk got a hat trick from former Montreal forward Sergei Kostitsyn as well as 1 goal and 3 points from former Flyers draft pick Stefan Ruzicka in victory.

Despite his team's setback, Gusev can feel good about a fine final couple of months in KHL regular season and in the Nadezhda Cup after playing very sparingly the first 2/3 of the season. His point a game pace in this year's Nadezhda Cup bested his production in last year's Nadezhda Cup with Khabarovsk (5 points) in half the games. Recall, Gusev played much of his junior hockey in CSKA's organization and with Team Russia on a line with current Lightning rookie forward Nikita Kucherov. The end of Gusev's year gives us some optimism he may be able to continue to develop and one day play again with Kucherov in the NHL.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-18-14

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
(4)Ufa 2 vs. (5)Novgorod 1
Ufa Wins the Series 4-3
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Win, 34/35, 1.00 GAA, .971 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 4-3-0, 0 SO, 1.95 GAA, .934 sv%

Andrey Vasilevskiy helped burnish his credentials as a big game goaltender, turning aside 34 shots to help Ufa overcome a 35-21 shot disparity in the team's Game Seven, 2-1, opening round triumph over Novgorod. Ufa built a 2-0 lead in the contest thanks in part to a goal by former Senators second rounder Igor Mirnov and held on for the 2-1 win. Defenseman Sergei Bernatsky had Novgorod's lone goal.

The 4 seed Ufa moves on to face 2nd seeded Barys Astana in the Eastern Conference Semifinals round starting Friday.

Nadezhda Cup
Omsk 8 vs. Khanty-Mansiysk 2
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-1-2, -1, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Regular season totals: 44 GP, 8-6-14, -6, 10 PIM
Tournament totals: 5 GP, 3-2-5, -1, 0 PIM

Ouch. Trailing by 2 goals in aggregate coming into the game, Omsk took a 2-1 series lead and a 4 goal lead in aggregate by pummeling Yugra 8-2. The two teams will square off again tomorrow in the final game of their second round set, but Yugra will have to win by a staggering 5 goals to move on in the Nadezhda Cup on aggregate. Good luck. Valiantly, Nikita Gusev had a multi-point effort in 15:57 of ice time in defeat. Omsk got a hat trick from former Flyers draft pick Stefan Ruzicka and 4 helpers from former Montreal Canadien Sergei Kostitsyn in the win.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-16-14

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
(5)Novgorod 6 vs. (4)Ufa 2
Series Tied 3-3
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Loss, 18/23, 5.87 GAA, .783 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 3-3-0, 0 SO, 2.09 GAA, .927 sv%

Facing elimination with their backs against the wall, Novgorod scored 4 unanswered Third Period goals to defeat Ufa 6-2 in Game Six of their opening round playoff series. Sakari Salminen led the way for Novgorod with 2 goals and an assist and former Rangers farmhand Jarkko Immonen also pitched in 2 goals. Lightning prospect netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy was lifted with 8:54 left in regulation after surrendering 5 goals.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-15-14

Nadezhda Cup
Khanty-Mansiysk 2 vs. Omsk 4
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Regular season totals: 44 GP, 8-6-14, -6, 10 PIM
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 2-1-3, E, 0 PIM

Nikita Gusev was scoreless in 16:11 of ice time as Omsk took the second game of their second round Nadezhda Cup series against Yugra. Ex-Canucks draft pick Sergei Shirokov had a goal in the win for Omsk.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-14-14

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
(1)Magnitogorsk 4 vs. (8)Vladivostok 3 (OT)
Magnitogorsk Wins the Series 4-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 37/40, 2.85 GAA, .925 sv%
Regular season totals: 51 GP, 30-12-8, 9 SO, 1.88 GAA, .940 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 4-1-0, 0 SO, 2.03 GAA, .927 sv%

Ex-Blue Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin scored 3:15 into Overtime to deliver Magnitogorsk a 4-3 Game Five victory and eliminate expansion Vladivostok for the KHL playoffs. Mozyakin's goal punctuated the 3 assists he posted in regulation.

(4)Ufa 4 vs. (5)Novgorod 2
Ufa Leads the Series 3-2
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Win, 27/29, 2.00 GAA, .931 sv%
Regular season totals: 28 GP, 14-8-5, 3 SO, 2.21 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 3-2-0, 0 SO, 1.54 GAA, .947 sv%

Remember when Ufa was down 2-0 in the series and it took an amazing pad save in Double Overtime of Game Three by Lightning prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy on Novgorod's Jarkko Immonen just to keep them from the brink of elimination? That save may well have been the turning point of the opening round series, as Ufa has screamed back to a 3-2 series lead on the strength of their 4-2 Game Five win today. Center Denis Khlystov had 3 assists in the win for Ufa while Novgorod's Sakari Salminen had 1 goal and 1 assist for Novgorod in defeat.

Nadezhda Cup
Khanty-Mansiysk 5 vs. Omsk 1
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Regular season totals: 44 GP, 8-6-14, -6, 10 PIM
Tournament totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +2, 0 PIM

Yugra laid the wood to Avangard Omsk in the opener of their second round Nadezhda Cup matchup, defeating the KHL power 5-1. Lightning prospect Nikita Gusev played 14:14 in the match and Yugra also got a helper from former Lightning draft pick Radek Smolenak in the win.

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