European Game Day: 4-8-10

KHL (Russia) Eastern Conference Finals
(1)Yulaev 2 @ (3)Kazan 1
Kazan Leads the Series 3-2
Dmitri Kazionov, Kazan, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 52 GP, 18-9-27, +8, 18 PIM
Playoff totals: 14 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 8 PIM

Things are getting interesting in the KHL Eastern Conference Finals. After sprinting out to a 3-0 series lead, Kazan has allowed top seeded Yulaev back into the series with 2 straight wins. Today, Yulaev got 1 goal and 1 assist in the third period from ex-Predator Alexander Radulov in a come-from-behind Game Five victory. Lightning prospect Dmitri Kazionov played 20:40 in the match and has been playing on Kazan's top line for much of the playoffs.

In the Western Conference Finals, Yaroslavl leads KHK MVD 3 games to 2. Kazan will try to finish off the Eastern Conference Finals again on Saturday.

Kval till Elitserien (Sweden)
Sodertalje 1 @ AIK 2 (OT)
Riku Helenius, Sodertalje, Loss, 35/37, 1.99 GAA, .946 sv%
Season totals: 9 GP, 4-2-2, 0 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%
Playoff totals: 9 GP, 6-3-0, 1 SO, 2.74 GAA, .911 sv%

AIK forward Richard Gynge scored a game winning power play goal for AIK just 17 seconds in overtime to defeat Riku Helenius and Sodertalje. For Helenius, it was his 3rd defeat in his past 4 starts after beginning the promotion/relegation tournament with 5 straight victories. Sodertalje's offense has been hamstrung without ex-Avs draft pick Linus Videll, who has not played in Sodertalje's past three games.

Despite the loss, Sodertalje has secured its spot in the Elitserien for next season with AIK earning just 1 point in the standings for the victory and Leksands and Rogle also losing. The more intriguing situation is occuring in the battle for 2nd place on the Kval till Elitserien table, which will yield the final Elitserien spot for next season. AIK holds 1 point lead now over Rogle and a 2 point lead over Leksands and Almtuna with just 1 game left to go and each regulation victory in Sweden being worth 3 points. As an interesting subplot, AIK, which has been on the brink of financial ruin the past few seasons despite being based in the population center of Stockholm, signed a letter-of-intent earlier this season to join the KHL next year but was denied the right to join the Russian league by the Swedish ice hockey federation. Now the team, which has been toiling in the Allsvenskan for the past few seasons, controls its own destiny and is one game away from joining Sweden's top league.

The Kval till Elitserien closes on Sunday with Sodertalje playing Rogle, AIK playing Vaxjo, and Leksands squaring off with Almtuna.