Nesterov, Nikita

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

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-7-12

Russia 2 @ Team QMJHL 5

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Series totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Series totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevskiy, RUS: L, 27/32 (.844 SV%)
Series totals: 1-1-0, 3.50 GAA, 58/65 (.892 SV%)

C Cedric Paquette, QMJHL: 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM (holding the stick)
Series totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Cedric Paquette and Team QMJHL got the better of fellow Lightning prospects Nikita Nesterov, Artem Sergeev, and Andrei Vasilevskiy and the rest of Team Russia Wednesday night in Val d'Or, with Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau (2 G, 1 A) and two 2013 draft-eligible forwards, the highly-touted Nathan MacKinnon (1 G, 3 A) and Jonathan Drouin (1 G, 3 A) leading the way for the Q.

Vasilevskiy's numbers for the evening look ugly and he may not have been at his absolute best, but the young Russian netminder's performance was better than his numbers might otherwise suggest. On the balance, the Russian skaters played effectively in spurts but were also on their heels, losing battles along the boards and races to the puck, periodically.

Nesterov, who was reliable and versatile as he always seems to be for a good chunk of his ice time, probably wishes he could have some shifts back in the second during which he alternately was muscled off the puck, had his pocket picked and late getting to a loose puck in the neutral zone, his hesitation resulting in the puck getting chipped past him to set up the 2-on-0 break that ended with Huberdeau scoring Canada's second goal by quickly firing a cross-crease dish from MacKinnon past Vasilevskiy's outstretched right pad and skate.

Sergeev and Paquette quietly logged their minutes, though Paquette, who wasn't expected to play in this game, took an early penalty that gave Russia, which failed to score on the six opportunities it had, its first power play of the game.

Box Score | Highlights

Subway Super Series Game Night: 11-5-12

Russia 6 @ Team QMJHL 2

D Nikita Nesterov, RUS: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM
Series totals: 0-0-0, +2, 0 PIM

D Artem Sergeev, RUS: Did not play
Series totals: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

G Andrei Vasilevski, RUS: W, 31/33 (.940 SV%), Player of the Game
Series totals: 1-0-0, 2.00 GAA, 31/33 (.940 SV%)

C Cedric Paquette, QMJHL: 0-0-0, E
Series totals: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Andrei Vasilevski put on a show Monday night in Blainville-Boisbriand, stopping 31 shots to lead Russia to a win in the opening game of the 2012 Canada-Russia Subway Super Series. The Q has now lost five straight games to the Russians. Vasilevski, who was wearing a Lightning mask, was named Player of the Game for Russia. He made routine saves, difficult saves, and spectacular saves. The save of the game was Vasilevski doing the splits to stop a QMJHL shot from his left. He was beaten on the power play on a shot that went top corner, then late in the game Jean-Sebastien Dea lost control of the puck on a partial breakaway and the disc snuck through Vasilevski's legs. Vasilevski was playing the deke.

Defenseman Nikita Nesterov played a significant amount of minutes for Russia and was out in all situations, including quarterbacking the power play and playing on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. He made good decisions and was praised for his "relentlessness." Lightning coach Guy Boucher will be happy about the "relentless" tag as it is one of his buzzwords.

Cedric Paquette didn't see a lot of ice time on his home rink, but he was perhaps the most physical QMJHL player, landing at least two big hits. One led to a scoring chance on Vasilevski, but the big Russian shut the door. Paquette will not play in Wednesday's Game 2. Lightning prospect Artem Sergeev is expected to suit up for Russia in Game 2, however.

Box Score | Highlights

KHL Game Day: 11-2-12

KHL (Russia)
Chelyabinsk 3 vs. Cherepovets 1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, DNP
Season totals (KHL): 17 GP, 0-0-0, +3, 4 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 26/29, 3.00 GAA, .897 sv%
Season totals: 23 GP, 10-11-2, 3 SO, 2.10 GAA, .927 sv%

Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov had 2 goals to lead Chelyabinsk to a 3-1 win over Cherepovets. Nikita Nesterov was out of the lineup for Traktor and is on his way to North America for the upcoming Subway Super Series.

VHL (Russia 2)
Tver 3 vs Sarov 0
Nikita Gusev, Tver, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (VHL): 14 GP, 7-6-13, -1, 2 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 6 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM

Nikita Gusev (pictured) scored an insurance marker for Tver in their 3-0 shutout victory over Sarov. Gusev is now tied for 21st in the league in goals. Tver faces Ryazan on Sunday.

KHL Game Day: 10-31-12

KHL (Russia)
Chelyabinsk 2 vs. Dynamo Minsk 0
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 17 GP, 0-0-0, +3, 4 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Nikita Nesterov was scoreless in 5:32 of ice time in Traktor's 2-0 win over Minsk. Ex-NHLer Jan Bulis had a shorthanded goal in the match for Chelyabinsk.

Magnitogorsk 5 vs. Cherepovets 2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 26/31, 5.00 GAA, .839 sv%
Season totals: 22 GP, 10-10-2, 3 SO, 2.06 GAA, .929 sv%

Evgeni Malkin had 3 assists to lead Magnitogorsk to a 5-2 win over Vasily Koshechkin and Cherepovets. Ex-Lightning draft pick Denis Kazionov scored his 8th goal of the season in defeat for Severstal only to be matched 8:01 later by brother Dmitri Kazionov's 5th of the year. The elder Kazionov has 5 goals and 7 points in 21 games this season.

VHL (Russia2)
Tver 4 vs. Dynamo Moscow2
Nikita Gusev, Tver, 1-1-2, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals (VHL): 13 GP, 6-6-12, -2, 2 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 6 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM

Nikita Gusev (pictured) had a goal and assist, both on the power play, in 18:40 of ice time to help lead Tver to a 4-3 win over Dynamo Moscow2.

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