European Leagues

European Game Day: 2-28-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 5 @ Assat 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 29/30, 1.00 GAA, .967 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 19-7-1, 6 SO, 1.55 GAA, .939 sv%

Riku Helenius stopped 29 shots and was second star of the match in JYP's 5-1 throttling of Assat. Former Lightning forward Eric Perrin was first star in the contest with 2 goals and 1 assist. We're heading down the stretch run of the SM-liiga season now, too, with just 7 contests left in the regular season for JYP. They'll face Ilves next on Friday. They're currently tied for 3rd in the SM-liiga with 94 points, 4 back of KalPa for tops in the league. Helenius leads the SM-liiga in GAA, save percentage, and is still tied for tops in shutouts.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Timra 2 @ Lulea 7
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-2-2, +3, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 50 GP, 14-9-23, +9, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on a pair of even strength goals as Lulea put up a touchdown in a 7-2 clubbering of Timra. Ex-Panthers draft pick Toni Koivisto and Blues draft pick Simon Hjalmarsson each had 2 goals for Lulea in the win. With 3 games to go in the regular season, Lulea sits atop the Elitserien table with a 5 point edge on second place Skelleftea. They draw AIK on Thursday.

European Game Day: 2-26-12

2-26-12
KHL (Russia):
Chelyabinsk 5 @ Cherepovets 4
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, ND, 18/21, 5.62 GAA, .857 sv%
Season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Nikita Nesterov got the call, but played just 1:31 in Chelyabinsk's 5-4 win over Cherepovets.

Yesterday's matches were the final contests of the KHL regular season. Out West, 8th seeded CSKA will face top seed St. Petersburg starting Wednesday and 5th seeded Cherepovets will draw 4th seed Mytischi on the same day. In the East, top seed Chelyabinsk draws 8th seed Khanty-Mansiysk in the first round.

Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov remained out of the lineup for CSKA's MHL team today in their 3-1 win over Yaroslavl Jr. His long time teammate Nikita Gusev was up yesterday for CSKA's last match of the regular season. CSKA Jr. plays Novgorod Jr. next on Wednesday. The MHL regular season will end on 3-12-12.

Elitserien Game Day: 2-25-12

Elitserien (Sweden):
Farjestads 1 @ Lulea 4
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, +2, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 49 GP, 14-7-21, +6, 16 PIM

Johan Harju scored the game opening goal in Lulea's 4-1 rout of Farjestads. Somewhat unbelievably, Harju is still tied for 15th in the league in goals despite his putrid second-half production. Niklas Olausson had 1 goal and 2 assists for Lulea in the match. With just 4 games remaining in the regular season, Lulea holds the top spot in the Elitserien and a 5 point lead over 2nd place, which is a 3-way tie between Frolunda, Skelleftea, and Brynas. If the season ended today, the 1/8 matchup would be between Lulea and sub-.500 MODO, which holds a 18-22-11 record. Lulea draws Timra next on Tuesday.

European Game Day: 2-24-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 2 @ Jokerit 3 (SO)
Riku Helenius, JYP, SOL, 37/39, 1.85 GAA, .949 sv%
Season totals: 28 GP, 18-7-1, 6 SO, 1.57 GAA, .938 sv%

JYP and Riku Helenius fell in a shootout 3-2 to Jokerit. Ex-Sens prospect Ben Eaves scored the shootout winner for Jokerit. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin assisted on both JYP goals. JYP faces Assat on Tuesday. They currently sit in 5th on the SM-liiga table, in line for a first round playoff bye.

KHL (Russia):
Astana 3 @ Cherepovets 4 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, 32/35, 2.79 GAA, .914 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.31 GAA, .927 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin stopped all 3 shooters he faced in the penalty shot session to lead Cherepovets to a 4-3 win over Astana. Ex-Lightning forward Brandon Bochenski scored his league leading 26th and 27th goals of the season in defeat for Barys. Cherepovets faces Chelyabinsk on Sunday.

KHL Game Day: 2-22-12

KHL (Russia):
Ekaterinburg 1 @ Cherepovets 0 (OT)
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, OTL, 30/31, 0.97 GAA, .970 sv%
Season totals: 31 GP, 15-11-1, 6 SO, 2.30 GAA, .927 sv%

Andrei Shepelenko scored 1:50 into overtime to help hand Cherepovets and Vasily Koshechkin a hard luck 1-0 loss. The goal came just 1 second after Cherepovets had completed killing off a Ekaterinburg power play. Again, hard luck. Cherepovets faces Astana on Friday.

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