European Leagues

KHL Game Day: 3/8/11

KHL Western Conference Semifinals
(1)Yaroslavl 4 @ (7)Dynamo Riga 2
Yaroslavl Leads the Series 1-0
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 17-15-32, -3, 46 PIM
Playoff totals: 7 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM

Ex-NHLers Karel Rachunek and Josef Vasicek each had 1 goal and 1 assist to lead Yaroslavl to a 4-2 Game One victory over Dynamo Riga. Ex-Lightning forward Robert Petrovicky had a goal in the match for Riga.

Elitserien Game Day: 3/5/11

Sodertalje 1 @ HV 71 2
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, DNP
Season totals: 18 GP, 4-11-0, 0 SO, 3.03 GAA, .884 sv%

From the final day of the Elitserien regular season:

Needing a regulation win to avoid the relegation round and tied with HV 71 at 1-1, Sodertalje pulled Pontus Sjogren for the extra attacker with 1:18 left in regulation allowing Johan Davidson to score the game winning goal with 7 seconds left into an empty net. Sodertalje and MODO will go into the Kval till Elitserien promotion/relegation round. MODO fell 3-2 to AIK, which clinched the final spot in the Elitserien playoffs.

European Game Day: 3/3/11

Elitserien Regular Season
Sodertalje 5 @ Timra 3
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, DNP
Season totals: 18 GP, 4-11-0, 0 SO, 3.03 GAA, .884 sv%

Ex-Avs pick Linus Videll had 1 goal and 3 assists to lead Sodertalje to a critical 5-3 win over Timra. With 1 game remaining in the regular season, Sodertalje now sits in 9th in the Elitserien, just 2 points back of AIK for the last playoff spot in the league. On the flip side, they hold a scant 1 point lead over MODO and Timra, who would be ticketed for the promotion/relegation round if the season ended now. 8th place AIK finishes their season against 11th place MODO, 10th place Frolunda draws 4th place Lulea, and 12th place Timra finishes against 6th place Djurgardens, so Sodertalje has the hardest draw of the final round of games on Saturday with 2nd place HV 71.

For Sodertalje to make the playoffs, AIK must lose in regulation to MODO, Sodertalje must defeat HV 71 in regulation, and Sodertalje's goal differential must be equal to or better than Frolunda's in the final game. Also, only a regulation win guarantees Sodertalje will not have to face the promotion/relegation round. They will lose any tiebreaker with MODO or Timra on goal differential.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(7)Dynamo Riga 2 @ (2)Dynamo Moscow 1 (OT)
Dynamo Riga Wins the Series 4-2
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 17-15-32, -3, 46 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM

Janis Sprukts scored 15:01 into overtime to lead Dynamo Riga to a 2-1 Game Six victory over Dynamo Moscow and an upset 4-2 series win. Riga moves on and will play either Yaroslavl or Mytischi in the second round.

(5)Cherepovets 0 @ (4)Mytischi 1
Mytischi Wins the Series 4-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 38/39, 1.00 GAA, .974 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 18-14-0, 2 SO, 2.92 GAA, .906 sv%
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 2-3-1, 0 SO, 2.20 GAA, .946 sv%

Vasya the Cat deserved better. The big netminder stopped 38 of 39 shots he faced, but a goal by ex-Jackets draft pick Sergei Mozyakin was all Mytischi needed to take down Cherepovets 1-0 in Game Six and secure a 4-2 series win. Koshechkin performed brilliantly despite facing an average of 37 shots per game in the series. His KHL contract expires this offseason and the rules of the CBA may be conducive to the Lightning signing the former 2002 8th rounder, but for now Koshechkin's next focus may be a potential World Championships spot with Team Russia.

European Game Day: 3/1/11

Elitserien Regular Season
Brynas 3 @ Sodertalje 2 (SO)
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, DNP
Season totals: 18 GP, 4-11-0, 0 SO, 3.03 GAA, .884 sv%

If Sodertalje misses the postseason and/or has to enter this year's promotion/relegation round, they'll be kicking themselves over the missed opportunities of the last two games. One game removed from a disheartening overtime loss, Sodertalje coughed up a late lead against Brynas and fell in the shootout to lose a critical 2 points in the standings. Ottawa draft pick Jakub Silfverberg scored on a 2-man advantage with the goaltender pulled with 1:10 left in regulation to force overtime and was the only successful shooter in the shootout to lead Brynas to the win. Sodertalje now finds themselves 2 points out of the final playoff spot in the Elitserien and 1 point out of 10th, which is the last spot in the league that avoids the promotion/relegation round, with 2 regular season games remaining. However, due to their league-worst -33 goal differential, none of the tiebreak scenarios are in Sodertalje's favor right now. Their final 2 games are against Timra (9th) and HV 71 (3rd). Given their proximity in the standings, that game against Timra on Thursday is shaping up to be a must-win for Sodertalje.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals
(2)Dynamo Moscow 3 @ (7)Dynamo Riga 1
Dynamo Riga Leads the Series 3-2
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 17-15-32, -3, 46 PIM
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 6 PIM

Martins Karsums was scoreless in 18:21 in Riga's 3-1 Game Five loss to Dynamo Moscow. Moscow forces a Game Six with the victory. Riga will try again to close out the series on Thursday.

(4)Mytischi 2 @ (5)Cherepovets 1
Mytischi Leads the Series 3-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 31/33, 2.04 GAA, .939 sv%
Season totals: 32 GP, 18-14-0, 2 SO, 2.92 GAA, .906 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-2-1, 0 SO, 2.47 GAA, .941 sv%

Ex-Lightning draft pick Fedor Fedorov had 1 goal and 1 assist and ex-NHLer Jan Bulis also scored to lead Mytischi to a critical Game Five win over Cherepovets, assuming a 3-2 series lead. The series will continue on Thursday with Vasily Koshechkin trying to help his team stave off elimination.

Elsewhere, Yaroslavl defeated Dynamo Minsk 2-1 in overtime to assume a 3-2 lead in the other active Western Conference playoff series. St. Petersburg is already through after a 4-0 sweep of Spartak Moscow.

KHL Game Day: 2/28/11

KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
(7)Astana 2 @ (2)Kazan 4
Kazan Sweeps the Series 4-0
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, DNP
Season totals: 44 GP, 2-4-6, +6, 32 PIM
Playoff totals: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM

Ex-NHLer Alexei Morozov had a pair of helpers while fellow ex-NHLer Niko Kapanen chipped in a goal to help Kazan defeat Astana 4-2 in Game Four of their opening round series. Defending champion Kazan advances to the semifinal round with the victory.

Elsewhere, Ufa also advanced to the semifinals by sweeping Novosibirsk. They join Kazan and St. Petersburg as clubs that have clinched a spot in the next round. Dynamo Riga can advance tomorrow with a victory in Game Five over Dynamo Moscow. The other four opening round series are currently deadlocked at 2-2.

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