Kucherov, Nikita

European Game Day: 1-31-12

Full slate today:

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 2 @ SaiPa 1 SO
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 34/35, 0.92 GAA, .971 sv%
Season totals: 25 GP, 17-6-0, 6 SO, 1.52 GAA, .939 sv%

Riku Helenius made 34 saves and was named the game's first star in JYP's 2-1 win over SaiPa. Helenius' rise has gradually gone, over the course of the season, from a cute story, to a bit of a phenomenon, to now something that bears serious consideration. No one expected him to keep posting shutouts in 40% of his starts, but he's now consistently winning games and only allowing 1-2 goals in the process. He leads the SM-liiga now in GAA and save percentage and he's still tied for the lead in shutouts. For an organization so starved for goaltending as the Lightning's, they can't afford to ignore #31 for JYP. JYP is now off until Tuesday, February 14, when they'll play TPS. They've now climbed into 4th on the SM-liiga table. The Sweden Hockey Games leg of the Euro Hockey Tour will be played February 9-12.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 2 @ Dynamo Minsk 4
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, ND, 14/15, 1.92 GAA, .933 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 15-9-0, 5 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin spelled starter Vadim Tarasov 8:42 into the second period and allowed 1 goal on 15 shots in Cherepovets' 4-2 loss to Minsk. Ex-Devils first rounder Nicklas Bergfors had a helper in the match for Cherepovets. Cherepovets faces Poprad on Thursday.

CSKA 4 @ Spartak Moscow 1
Nikita Kucherov, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 16 GP, 1-3-4, E, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 19 GP, 19-17-36, +12, 38 PIM

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Nikita Gusev's game opening goal in CSKA's 4-1 rout of Spartak. Kucherov played 11:39 in the match. CSKA draws Chekhov on Thursday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 7 @ Kirov-Chepetsk 4
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 34 GP, 10-19-29, +15, 30 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 7 GP, 0-0-0, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov assisted on an Anton Burdasov goal in Chelyabinsk Jr.'s 3 goal win over Kirov-Chepetsk. Chelyabinsk Jr. is off until Friday when they play Kazan Jr.

Elitserien (Sweden):
From 1-23
Frolunda 1 @ Lulea 2
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 12-6-18, +4, 16 PIM

In a game that slipped through the cracks from last Monday, Toni Koivisto's third period goal lifted Lulea to a 2-1 win over Frolunda.

From 1-31
HV 71 0 @ Lulea 1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 43 GP, 13-6-19, +4, 16 PIM

Johan Harju scored the shootout winner to lift Lulea to a 1-0 win over HV 71. Remember, shootout winners count as goals in the stat column in Sweden. Lulea draws Vaxjo on Thursday. Lulea has climbed to 2nd place in the Elitserien, just 1 point back of Skelleftea.

European Game Day: 1-28-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 4 @ Blues 2
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 24 GP, 17-6-0, 6 SO, 1.54 GAA, .937 sv%

Joni Myllkoski got the start today for JYP in their 4-2 win over Espoo. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had a pair of assists in the victory. JYP now sits at 5th on the league table and faces SaiPa on Tuesday. The top 6 spots in the SM-liiga standings earn a first round bye in the playoffs.

KHL (Russia):

First, to clean up a couple of games we missed by Vasily Koshechkin and Cherepovets:

From 1-24
Nizhnekamsk 4 @ Cherepovets 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 24/28, 4.00 GAA, .857 sv%
Season totals: 27 GP, 14-9-0, 4 SO, 2.53 GAA, .920 sv%

Ex-NHLer Denis Arkhipov had a goal in Nizhnekamsk's 4-2 win over Cherepovets.

From 1-26
Yulaev 2 @ Cherepovets 1 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, DNP
Season totals: 27 GP, 14-9-0, 4 SO, 2.53 GAA, .920 sv%

Ex-Kings goaltender Erik Ersberg turned aside 40 shots and 3 of 4 in the shootout in Ufa's 2-1 win over Cherepovets.

And now for today's action:

Kazan 0 @ Cherepovets 1
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, SO, 28/28, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 28 GP, 15-9-0, 5 SO, 2.43 GAA, .923 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin is sneaking up on Riku Helenius' prospect leading shutouts total of 6. He got his 5th today in a 1-0 win over Kazan. Cherepovets faces Dynamo Minsk on Tuesday.

Dynamo Riga 1 @ CSKA 2
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 15 GP, 1-2-3, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 19 GP, 19-17-36, +12, 38 PIM

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Igor Ozhiganov's third period, game winning goal in CSKA's 2-1 win over Riga. Ex-Lightning prospect Martins Karsums had a helper in the loss for Dynamo. CSKA plays Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

KHL Game Day: 1-26-12

KHL (Russia):
Poprad 3 @ CSKA 2
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 12 GP, 1-1-2, -2, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 19 GP, 19-17-36, +12, 38 PIM

Undrafted veteran Tomas Netik had a pair of goals to lead Slovakia's KHL team, Poprad, to a 3-2 win over CSKA. Ex-Lightning draft pick Vladimir Mihalik was +1 in 18:51 for Poprad. Current Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov was -1 in 10:44. CSKA draws Riga on Saturday.

KHL Game Day: 1-24-12

KHL (Russia):
Dynamo Minsk 6 @ CSKA 5
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 11 GP, 1-1-2, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 19 GP, 19-17-36, +12, 38 PIM

Fresh off an MHL hat trick, Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov was called up to CSKA's big team where he scored his first career KHL goal in CSKA's 6-5 loss to Minsk. Kucherov played 6:00 even in the match. CSKA plays Poprad on Thursday.

Prospect of the Week (1.24.12)

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, but we’re considering a WWF/WWE-type belt they can wear during games. At the least, maybe a really big belt buckle with the BP logo on it.

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.

This week’s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to … Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr. (Russia).

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