Nesterov, Nikita

European Game Day: 3-20-12

SM-liiga Playoffs (Finland):
The field of 8 is complete. Blues Espoo crushed Lukko 6-3 in Game Three of their mini play-in series, joining Karpat as the other recipient of a play-in spot. Riku Helenius and JYP will play Assat in the Quarterfinals beginning on Thursday.

KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals (Russia):
Former Blackhawks draft pick Petri Kontiola's goal late in the third period lifted Chelyabinsk to a 3-2 Game Four victory over Ak Bars Kazan. Nikita Nesterov did not play in the match. Chelyabinsk leads the series 3-1 and will go in for the kill on Thursday.

MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. rolled to a 7-2 Game Four victory to knot their series at 2-2. Nikita Kucherov did not play in the match. The decisive Game Five will be on Friday.

European Game Day: 3-18-12 and 3-19-12

3-18-12
KHL Eastern Conference Semifinals
Ex-NHLer Niko Kapanen scored 1:55 into overtime to lift Kazan to a critical 2-1 Game Three win over top seed Chelyabinsk. Nikita Nesterov did not dress for the match. Chelyabinsk still holds a 2-1 series lead with Game Four set for Tuesday.

SM-slutspel (Sweden):
(7)AIK 3 @ (1)Lulea 0
AIK Wins the Series 4-1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 1-1-2, -2, 0 PIM
Regular eason totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Goaltender Viktor Fasth, who was rumored to be a Lightning free agent target, stopped all 31 shots he faced for AIK in their clinching 3-0 win over Lulea. The series loss is a crushing upset for the league's top seed.

3-19-12
MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals(Russia Jr.):
St. Petersburg Jr. 3 @ CSKA Jr. 2
St. Petersburg Jr. Leads the Series 2-1
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Playoff totals (MHL): 2 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov did not dress for CSKA Jr.'s critical Game Three loss to St. Petersburg Jr. Ex-NHLer Nikita Filatov has also not appeared for CSKA Jr. in the last couple of matches. Game Four is Tuesday.

European Game Day: 3-16-12

KHL Eastern Conference Seminfinals (Russia):
Evgeny Kuznetsov's third period goal lifted Chelyabinsk to a 2-1 Game Two win over Ak Bars Kazan. Traktor now holds a 2-0 series lead. Kuznetsov, a first round pick of the Capitals, starred on Russia's Silver Medal winning U20 World Junior Championship team earlier this season. Nikita Nesterov did not appear in the match. Game Three is Sunday.

MHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. 3 @ St. Petersburg Jr. 2 (OT)
Series Tied at 1-1
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals (MHL): 2 GP, 0-1-1, -2, 0 PIM
Regular Season totals (MHL): 23 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Regular Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Sergey Barbashev scored 9:46 into overtime to lift CSKA Jr. to a critical 3-2 Game Two win over St. Petersburg Jr. The season is now knotted at 1-1. Game Three is Monday.

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

The upset alert is now blaring. Ex-NHLer Dick Tarnstrom assisted on AIK's game opening goal and they did not look back, posting a 4-1 Game Four victory over top seed Lulea. Lulea now faces elimination in Game Five on Sunday.

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.

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