Helenius, Riku

European Game Day: 2-18-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
HIFK 3 @ JYP 2
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 29/32, 3.06 GAA, .906 sv%
Season totals: 27 GP, 18-7-0, 6 SO, 1.55 GAA, .937 sv%

Ex-Lightning prospect Eero Somervuori had 1 goal and 1 assist in a first star effort to lead HIFK to a 3-2 win over JYP. The game marked a rare loss for goaltender Riku Helenius. Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin also had a goal in the game for JYP. They face HPK on Tuesday.

MHL (Russia Jr.)
Chelyabinsk Jr. 1 @ Stupino 5
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 38 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 7 GP, 0-0-0, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov was -1 with a minor penalty as Chelyabinsk Jr. took a humiliating 5-1 loss at the hands of Stupino. The defenseman has been stuck at 30 points for a few games now. He'll have to wait until Tuesday against Khabarovsk Jr. to see if he can snap out of his slump.

Novosibirsk Jr. 1 @ CSKA Jr. 10
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., DNP
Season totals (KHL): 21 GP, 21-18-39, +11, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

It hardly seems possible, but Nikita Kucherov was out of the lineup for CSKA Jr.'s punishing 10-1 win over Novosibirsk Jr. I know some young men from Siberia who regret getting off the team bus today. CSKA Jr. gets Novokuznetsk Jr. on Monday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Djurgardens 1 @ Lulea 2
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 47 GP, 13-7-20, +4, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on Elias Falth's game winning goal in Lulea's 2-1 win over Djurgardens. Falth, a defenseman, had both of Lulea's goals in the contest. Ex-Lightning prospect Andreas Holmqvist assisted on Djurgardens' lone goal. Lulea plays HV 71 on Tuesday.

European Game Day: 2-17-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 5 @ Ilves 2
Riku Helenius, JYP, DNP
Season totals: 26 GP, 18-6-0, 6 SO, 1.49 GAA, .939 sv%

Ex-Lightning forward Eric Perrin had 1 goal and 4 points and was named the game's second star in JYP's 5-2 thumping of Ilves. Backup Joni Myllykoski got the start for JYP. JYP faces HIFK on Saturday.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 1 @ St. Petersburg 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 38/41, 3.05 GAA, .927 sv%
Season totals: 31 GP, 15-10-1, 6 SO, 2.35 GAA, .926 sv%

Ex-NHLer Mattias Weinhandl had a goal to help lead St. Petersburg to a 3-1 win over Cherepovets. Cherepovets gets Chekhov next on Monday.

KHL Game Day: 2-15-12

KHL (Russia):
Mytischi 1 @ Cherepovets 0 (SO)
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, SOL, 29/29, SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 30 GP, 15-9-1, 6 SO, 2.32 GAA, .926 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin suffered the rare case of losing a game despite posting a shutout in Cherepovets' 1-0 shootout loss to Mytischi. The netminder stopped 4 of 6 chances in the shootout, but could not hold Alexei Kovalev and Dmitri Upper out in the defeat. Koshechkin did finally manage to catch fellow Lightning prospect Riku Helenius in shootouts, posting his 6th of the season, but he's still 13 points behind Helenius in save percentage despite a more than respectable .926 save percentage for the season. Cherepovets faces St. Petersburg on Friday.

In Chelyabinsk, neither Nikita Kucherov nor Nikita Nesterov got the call for the matchup between their KHL sides where the polar bears thumped CSKA 5-3.

European Game Day: 2-14-12

SM-liiga (Finland):
TPS 1 @ JYP 4
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 16/17, 1.00 GAA, .941 sv%
Season totals: 26 GP, 18-6-0, 6 SO, 1.49 GAA, .939 sv%

On this Valentine's Day, I think we all can find something to love in the continued resurgence of goaltender Riku Helenius, who posted 16 saves en route to JYP's 4-1 win over TPS. Ducks draft pick Sami Vatanen scored 2 goals in the match for JYP. They face Ilves next on Friday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 2 @ CSKA Jr. 4
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr. 1-0-1, E, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 20 GP, 20-17-37, +12, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-0-0, -1, 20 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 36 GP, 10-20-30, +12, 52 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 7 GP, 0-0-0, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov had a power play goal and a minor penalty in CSKA Jr.'s 4-2 win over Chelyabinsk Jr. Fellow Lightning prospect Nikita Nesterov was -1 and took an unspecified game misconduct at 16:35 of the match. We'll see now if Kucherov returns to CSKA's KHL team and whether Nesterov faces disciplinary action after today's result. CSKA Jr. faces Omsk Jr. next on Thursday while Chelyabinsk Jr. draws KHK MVD Jr. on Thursday, as well.

Today's head-to-head matchup of Lightning prospects comes on the heels of Saturday's MHL All-Star Game where the West defeated the East 4-2. Nikita Nesterov was -2 with a minor for interference for the losing East side. Nikita Kucherov did not suit up for the match, but his teammate Nikita Gusev had a pair of helpers for the victorious Team West.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Lulea 2 @ Brynas 3 (OT)
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 46 GP, 13-6-19, +3, 16 PIM

Ex-Predators draft pick Daniel Widing scored 1:37 into overtime to lift Brynas to a 3-2 win over Lulea. Lulea draws MODO on Thursday.

European Game Day: 1-31-12

Full slate today:

SM-liiga (Finland):
JYP 2 @ SaiPa 1 SO
Riku Helenius, JYP, Win, 34/35, 0.92 GAA, .971 sv%
Season totals: 25 GP, 17-6-0, 6 SO, 1.52 GAA, .939 sv%

Riku Helenius made 34 saves and was named the game's first star in JYP's 2-1 win over SaiPa. Helenius' rise has gradually gone, over the course of the season, from a cute story, to a bit of a phenomenon, to now something that bears serious consideration. No one expected him to keep posting shutouts in 40% of his starts, but he's now consistently winning games and only allowing 1-2 goals in the process. He leads the SM-liiga now in GAA and save percentage and he's still tied for the lead in shutouts. For an organization so starved for goaltending as the Lightning's, they can't afford to ignore #31 for JYP. JYP is now off until Tuesday, February 14, when they'll play TPS. They've now climbed into 4th on the SM-liiga table. The Sweden Hockey Games leg of the Euro Hockey Tour will be played February 9-12.

KHL (Russia):
Cherepovets 2 @ Dynamo Minsk 4
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, ND, 14/15, 1.92 GAA, .933 sv%
Season totals: 29 GP, 15-9-0, 5 SO, 2.42 GAA, .923 sv%

Vasily Koshechkin spelled starter Vadim Tarasov 8:42 into the second period and allowed 1 goal on 15 shots in Cherepovets' 4-2 loss to Minsk. Ex-Devils first rounder Nicklas Bergfors had a helper in the match for Cherepovets. Cherepovets faces Poprad on Thursday.

CSKA 4 @ Spartak Moscow 1
Nikita Kucherov, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 16 GP, 1-3-4, E, 2 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 19 GP, 19-17-36, +12, 38 PIM

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Nikita Gusev's game opening goal in CSKA's 4-1 rout of Spartak. Kucherov played 11:39 in the match. CSKA draws Chekhov on Thursday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
Chelyabinsk Jr. 7 @ Kirov-Chepetsk 4
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk Jr., 0-1-1, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 34 GP, 10-19-29, +15, 30 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 7 GP, 0-0-0, +9, 4 PIM

Nikita Nesterov assisted on an Anton Burdasov goal in Chelyabinsk Jr.'s 3 goal win over Kirov-Chepetsk. Chelyabinsk Jr. is off until Friday when they play Kazan Jr.

Elitserien (Sweden):
From 1-23
Frolunda 1 @ Lulea 2
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Season totals: 42 GP, 12-6-18, +4, 16 PIM

In a game that slipped through the cracks from last Monday, Toni Koivisto's third period goal lifted Lulea to a 2-1 win over Frolunda.

From 1-31
HV 71 0 @ Lulea 1
Johan Harju, Lulea, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Season totals: 43 GP, 13-6-19, +4, 16 PIM

Johan Harju scored the shootout winner to lift Lulea to a 1-0 win over HV 71. Remember, shootout winners count as goals in the stat column in Sweden. Lulea draws Vaxjo on Thursday. Lulea has climbed to 2nd place in the Elitserien, just 1 point back of Skelleftea.

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