Nesterov, Nikita

KHL Game Day: 11-21-12

KHL (Russia)
Khabarovsk 5 vs. Novokuznetsk 1
Nikita Gusev, Khabarovsk, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals (KHL)(Khabarovsk): 1 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Season totals (KHL)(CSKA): 6 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM
Season totals (KHL)(Total): 7 GP, 0-2-2, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals (VHL): 15 GP, 7-6-13, -2, 2 PIM

Nikita Gusev (pictured) had a successful debut for Amur Khabarovsk, assisting on the capping goal of a 5-1 victory over Novokuznetsk. Gusev played 11:36 in the match. Khabarovsk faces Novosibirsk tomorrow. There's nothing quite like the Thanksgiving tradition that is Novosibirsk hockey in the KHL.

Chelyabinsk 0 vs. Astana 3
Victor Hedman, Astana, 0-3-3, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 16 GP, 0-13-13, +10, 48 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 0-0-0, +3, 4 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Victor Hedman had helpers in triplicate, including 2 on the power play, in Astana's 3-0 blanking of Traktor Chelyabinsk. Hedman played 23:04 in the match. Nikita Nesterov played just 1:32 in the game for Traktor, his first since returning from the Subway Super Series. Chelyabinsk faces Khanty-Mansiysk next on Friday while Astana gets Magnitogorsk.

Ufa 4 vs. Spartak Moscow 1
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ufa, DNP
Season totals (KHL): 0 GP, 0-0-0, 0 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals (MHL): 24 GP, 18-6-0, 2 SO, 1.97 GAA, .929 sv%

Andrei Vasilevskiy sat backup to former Syracuse Crunch Iiro Tarkki in Ufa's 4-1 win over Spartak Moscow. Ufa got a goal from former Blue Jackets pick Nikita Filatov in the match. Ufa draws Donetsk next on Friday.

St. Petersburg 3 vs. Cherepovets 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 24/27, 3.04 GAA, .889 sv%
Season totals: 26 GP, 12-12-2, 3 SO, 2.16 GAA, .925 sv%

NHLer Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 11th goal of the season to help lead St. Petersburg to a 3-2 win over Severstal Cherepovets. Former Lightning draft pick Denis Kazionov was out of the lineup for Cherepovets in the match. Severstal faces Dynamo Moscow on Friday.

Bratislava 1 vs. Novgorod 4
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, Loss, 25/29, 4.00 GAA, .862 sv%
Season totals: 23 GP, 12-8-3, 3 SO, 2.30 GAA, .924 sv%

Swedish star Martin Thornberg had 2 goals and 1 assist to lead Novgorod in a 4-1 thrashing of Slovan Bratislava. Thornberg has been a fixture on Sweden Euro Hockey Tour teams over the past several seasons. Slovan plays Mytischi on Friday.

Note that today's action was the first time this season that all Lightning prospects in the Russian leagues were in uniform for their respective KHL teams.

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-15-12

Russia 5 @ Team WHL 2

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM
Series totals: 6 GP, 0-0-0, E, 6 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevskiy, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1-2-0, 3.01 GAA, .903 sv%

Russia finished the Subway Super Series with a record of 3-2-0-1 after defeating the WHL, 5-2, on Thursday night in Victoria, B.C. Top Lightning prospect Andrei Vasilevskiy served as backup to Andrei Makarov, who started his second game in a row for Russia. He took a shutout into the shootout in Russia's first game against the WHL.

Russia wanted to bring over a strong representation this year in preparation for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. It's safe to say they succeeded, as they won the series for the first time.

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-14-12


Russia 0 @ Team WHL 1 (SO)

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM
Series totals: 5 GP, 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevskiy, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1-2-0, 3.01 GAA, .903 sv%

After 60 scoreless minutes, Team WHL scored three times on four attempts to beat the Russians in the shootout Wednesday in Vancouver.

Hunter Shinkurak, Mark McNeill and Sam Reinhart each tallied goals in the shootout, and WHL netminder Laurent Broissant stopped all three shots he faced. During regulation, the Flames prospect stopped 30 shots and Andei Makarov made 35 saves in the Russian net.

Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov, who wore an A for Russia, was whistled for a pair of minor penalties in the third period, once for interference at the 2:55 mark and once for holding at 12:59. Shinkurak went to the box for a coincidental minor (unsportsmanlike conduct for embellishment) with Nesterov on the latter penalty.

Team WHL went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Russia went 0-for-2 with the man-advantage.

Trailing in points 8-7, Russia (2-2-0-1) wraps up the Subway Series against the WHL in Victoria, B.C. Thursday.

Box Score | Highlights

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-12-12

Russia 1 @ Team OHL 2

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Series totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevskiy, RUS: Loss, 26 saves on 28 shots, Player of the Game (Russia)
Series totals: 1-2-0, 3.01 GAA, .903 sv%

D Slater Koekkoek, OHL: Did not play
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Team OHL avenged their first-ever loss to the Russians in the Subway Super Series with a 2-1 win on Monday night in Sarnia. Russia beat the OHL, 2-1, last week. The OHL outshot Russia 28-16 in the match, including 13-5 while holding a 1-0 lead entering the third period. Russia managed a goal with just over 30 seconds left in the game. The game-winning goal was scored when Vasilevskiy (pictured) deflected a hard low shot from his right to the weak side, where an unmarked Frankie Corrado (Canucks) had crept in from the point and deposited the puck into an empty net. Vasilevskiy made several remarkable saves to keep his team in the game and was named Player of the Game for the Russian side for the second time in three starts. Fellow Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov wore an alternate captain's A for Russia and played in all game situations.

Russia (2-2) will play the WHL starting on Wednesday in Vancouver.

Box Score | Highlights

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-8-12

Russia 2 @ Team OHL 1

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Series totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevskiy, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 1-1-0, 3.50 GAA, 58/65 (.892 SV%)

D Slater Koekkoek, OHL: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM (holding)
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Playing their third game in four nights and with much of the same roster from last night's 5-2 loss in Val d'Or to the QMJHL squad, Russia found a way to dig deep late in the game and pull off a gritty comeback win, its first ever win over the OHL in 19 total series matches, by scoring two goals in 24 seconds with under ten minutes remaining Thursday night in Guelph.

With Andrei Vasilevskiy in need of rest after starting the first two games, it was Igor Ustinskiy who got the start and, with a team that looked on the ropes though much of the first two periods of play, earned some honors by stopping all but one of the 24 shots he faced. Boston's Malcolm Subban, selected in the first round of the 2012 draft just like Vasilevskiy, started in net for the OHL but was pulled in favor of Jordan Binnington (Blues) after seeing little action--just seven shots--in what amounted to a little more than the first half of the game. It was Binnington who allowed the late back-to-back goals to Anton Shenfeld and Blackhawks 2011 4th rounder Maxim Shulanov for Russia.

With Sergeev scratched, that left Nesterov and Koekkoek as the only Lightning prospects in action in tonight's game. Nesterov was on the ice helping man the power play for Russia when Tyler Graovac scored Canada's lone goal of the game short-handed, but was steady on the Russian back end and seemed right at home in a game that was characterized by its physicality and board play. Koekkoek flashed his two-way ability on multiple occasions tonight, even joining the rush and, during prolonged stretches of offensive zone time, driving the net or pinching deep. However, he was also on the ice, as was his defensive partner Ryan Murphy (Hurricanes), for both Russian goals at the tail end of the game which left the OHL team and the roughly 5,000-strong home crowd stunned.

Koekkoek was caught out out of position when Shenfeld pulled a subtle outside-in deke to move in between the two Canadian defenders and snapped a shot untouched from the mid-slot that sped past Binnington's right blocker shoulder and tucked in under or off the crossbar. On the second Russian goal, Shalunov sped away from Murphy just outside the Russian blueline to create a 2-on-1 that Koekkoek defended properly by taking away the pass and giving his goaltender an opportunity to make the save. Binnington didn't, letting Shalunov's ice-level wrister beat him five-hole as he dropped into the butterfly.

The series will continue when both teams meet again in Sarnia on Monday night.

Box Score | Highlights

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