European Leagues

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-20-10

Eastern Conference Semifinal
(2)Magnitgorsk 0 @ (3)Kazan 4
Kazan Leads the Series 1-0
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +7, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +4, 2 PIM

Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 18/22, 6.63 GAA, .818 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 3-2, 0 SO, 2.24 GAA, .925 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin was lifted early in the Second Period as Kazan steamrolled Magnitogorsk in Game One of their KHL Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. Former Penguin Alexei Morozov had a natural hat trick in the game for Kazan. Lightning prospect Dmitri Kazionov assisted on Morozov's second goal and played 16:09 in the match and took a minor for hooking.

Western Conference Semifinal
(2)KHK MVD 2 @ (8)Dynamo Riga 0
KHK MVD Leads the Series 2-0
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +6, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 6 GP, 1-1-2, -2, 2 PIM

Things are looking dire for Karsums and Cindarella Riga. After knocking off top seeded St. Petersburg in the first round, they're finding second seeded KHK MVD to be a much more formidable challenge. Today they were shut out 2-0, meaning Riga has managed just a single goal in the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinal series. Former Lightning draft pick Ruslan Zainullin had a goal in the match for KHK MVD.

Elsewhere, Yaroslavl and Spartak Moscow are tied 1-1 in their Western Conference Seminfinal series while Yulaev holds a 1-0 lead over Nizhnekamsk in the other Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Tomorrow will feature Game Two in the East between Kazan and Magnitogorsk.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-19-10

Western Conference
(2)KHK MVD 4 @ (8)Dynamo Riga 1
KHK MVD Leads the Series 1-0
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-1-1, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +6, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 1-1-2, -2, 2 PIM

Things started well for Karsums and Dynamo Riga in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal series. The Lightning prospect assisted on a first period goal by Martins Cipulis that put the Cindarella 8 seed up 1-0 at the end of the period. Things slid downhill from there. 2nd seeded KHK MVD scored 4 unanswered goals in the final two frames to stake themselves to a 1-0 series lead. Former Lightning draft pick Ruslan Zainullin had an assist in the match for KHK MVD. Karsums played 15:44 in the match.

Tomorrow (3-20-10) will be Game Two for Riga and Game One in the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between Dmitri Kazionov and Kazan and Vasily Koshechkin and Magnitogorsk.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-15-10

Eastern Conference
(8)Ekaterinburg 1 @ (1)Yulaev 8
Yulaev Wins the Series 3-1
Denis Kazionov, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 51 GP, 5-3-8, -18, 20 PIM
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM

Ekaterinburg's chance for a Cindarella ending came to a screeching hault in an 8-1 series clinching Game Four win by Yulaev. Ex-Predators forward Alexander Radulov had 1 goal and 3 assists in the game for Yulaev. Denis Kazionov played 11:59 in the match, completing his first full season as a regular KHL player.

(7)Chelyabinsk 2 @ (2)Magnitogorsk 3 (OT)
Magnitogorsk Wins the Series 3-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Win, 30/32, 1.57 GAA, .938 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 3-1, 0 SO, 1.62 GAA, .944 sv%

Magnitogorsk ended the upset dreams of seventh seeded Chelyabinsk with a pair of goals by Denis Platonov, including the overtime winner. Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov also had a goal for Magnitogorsk.

Three Lightning prospects have made it through to the conference semifinals in the KHL. In the East, 2nd seed Magnitogorsk and Vasily Koshechkin will square off against 3rd seed Kazan and Dmitri Kazionov. Meanwhile, in the West, Cindarella 8th seed Dynamo Riga and Martins Karsums will face 2nd seed KHK MVD.

KHL Playoff Game Day: 3-14-10

Eastern Conference
(8)Ekaterinburg 4 @ (1)Yulaev 3
Yulaev Leads the Series 2-1
Denis Kazionov, Ekaterinburg, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 51 GP, 5-3-8, -18, 20 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 6 PIM

Not so fast my friends! Despite a pair of goals by former Edmonton prospect Patrick Thoresen, Ekaterinburg upset top seeded Yulaev to extend their opening round playoff series to a Game Four. Denis Kazionov played just 4:08 in the match.

(7)Chelyabinsk 2 @ (2)Magnitogorsk 1 (OT)
Magnitogorsk Leads the Series 2-1
Vasily Koshechkin, Magnitogorsk, Loss, 26/28, 1.88 GAA, .929 sv%
Season totals: 49 GP, 25-16-8, 8 SO, 1.96 GAA, .927 sv%
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 2-1, 0 SO, 1.64 GAA, .946 sv%

Pierre Dagenais scored for Chelyabinsk 4 minutes into overtime to help keep his club alive for Game Four against Mangitogorsk. Vasily Koshechkin's playoff save percentage dropped to a still-superhuman .946 in the loss.

(6)Astana 1 @ (3)Kazan 3
Kazan Wins the Series 3-0
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +7, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM

Alexei Morozov had 1 goal and 1 assist to help Kazan complete a 3-game opening round sweep of Astana. Former Lightning prospect Ilya Solarev had an assist on Astana's only goal. Dmitri Kazionov played 17:16 in the match.

(5)Omsk 1 @ (4)Nizhnekamsk 2
Nizhnekamsk Wins the Series 3-0
Karri Ramo, Omsk, Loss, 25/27, 2.03 GAA, .926 sv%
Season totals: 44 GP, 21-17-4, 4 SO, 2.11 GAA, .913 sv%
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 0-3, 0 SO, 3.04 GAA, .886 sv%

The season is over for Karri Ramo. He and Omsk allowed a goal by Maxim Yakutsenya with 3:33 remaining in regulation to allow Nizhnekamsk to complete the three game sweep. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had the only goal of the match for Omsk. Let the Ramo signing watch begin.

Western Conference
(8)Dynamo Riga 4 @ (1)St. Petersburg 2
Riga Wins the Series 3-1
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +7, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 2 PIM

Riga completed its upset of top-seeded St. Petersburg, partly on the strength of a pair of assists by former NHLer Sandis Ozolinsh. Martins Karsums scored an empty-net goal in 19:34 of ice time.

(6)Spartak Moscow 4 @ (3)Dynamo Moscow 0
Spartak Wins the Series 3-1
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, DNP
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-14-18, -10, 38 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, -2, 8 PIM

Ex-Lightning forward Martin Cibak had a pair of assists to help secure a Game Four victory for Spartak and an opening round playoff series win. Johan Harju missed his second straight game for Dynamo Moscow. No word on if he is injured. Either way, his season in the KHL is now over, and the Lightning are expected to try to sign Harju this offseason.

Elsewhere in the KHL, Yaroslavl knocked off Mytischi to win their Western Conference series 3-1. Lightning prospects Dmitri Kazionov and Martins Karsums are already through to the second round. Karri Ramo and Johan Harju are headed home. Only two playoff series remain to be settled, and both are in the Eastern Conference. Denis Kazionov and Ekaterinburg will play Game Four against Yulaev tomorrow with his club down 2-1 in the series. Vasily Koshechkin and Magnitogorsk will also play tomorrow as they try to dispose of Chelyabinsk in Game Four.

European Game Day: 3-13-10

KHL (Russia) Playoffs

Western Conference
(8)Dynamo Riga 2 @ (1)St. Petersburg 4
Riga Leads the Series 2-1
Martins Karsums, Dynamo Riga, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 12 GP, 4-4-8, +7, 16 PIM
Playoff totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIM

Top seed St. Petersburg avoided being swept on the strength of 1 goal and 1 assist from former NHL star Alexei Yashin. Lightning prospect Martins Karsums played 14:23 in the match and took a minor penalty for tripping. He has yet to score in the playoffs.

(6) Spartak Moscow 1 @ (3)Dynamo Moscow 3
Spartak Leads the Series 2-1
Johan Harju, Dynamo Moscow, DNP
Season totals: 55 GP, 4-14-18, -10, 38 PIM
Playoff totals: 2 GP, 1-0-1, -2, 8 PIM

Also staving off an upset sweep was Dynamo Moscow, which got goals from former NHLers Vitaly Yachmenev and Mattias Weinhandl. They did so without the services of Lightning prospect Johan Harju.

Elsewhere in the KHL, KHK MVD became the first team to go through to their conference semifinals, sweeping CSKA 3 games to 0. Tomorrow, all four Eastern Conference series will be played with Yulaev, Magnitogorsk, Kazan, and Nizhnekamsk attempting to complete sweeps of their own. The remaining three Western Conference series will also be played, with Riga, Spartak Moscow, and Yaroslavl attempting to avoid their series being extended to a Game Five.

Elitserien (Sweden)
Farjestads 1 @ Sodertalje 3
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Win, 29/30, 1.00 GAA, .967 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%

Riku Helenius and Sodertalje completed their regular season with a solid 3-1 win against Farjestads. Ex-Kings prospect Yanick Lehoux had a pair of goals in the match. Sodertalje finished 11th in the 12 team Elitserien. They'll now await the start of the Kvalserien till Elitserien relegation/promotion series on March 21st where they'll face some of the best teams from the second tier Allsvenskan. Sodertalje had to play their way into the Elitserien last year, too, so this is nothing new for their fans. The series will run for 10 games until April 11th, so Helenius' season isn't over yet. Thus far though, his decision to jump into Swedish hockey has been successful. It remains to be seen, though, if it's been successful enough for him to have played his way back into the Lightning's plans.

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