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KHL Game Day: 3-7-12

KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia):
(1)Chelyabinsk 1 @ (8)Khanty-Mansiysk 0
Chelyabinsk Wins the Series 4-1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, DNP
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Nikita Nesterov was sent down prior to Chelyabinsk's 1-0 Game Five victory over Khanty-Mansiysk. Vladimir Antipov's 7th goal of the playoffs at 11:01 of the third period sealed Traktor's series win. Chelyabinsk and Omsk are already through to the Semifinals in the Eastern Conference.

Tokarski Time

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Dustin Tokarski from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Tokarski, 6-foot, 197 pounds, has played in 40 games with the Admirals this season, posting a 27-11-0 record with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. He also has four shutouts. Tokarski has won eight consecutive games for the Admirals (a franchise AHL record) with two shutouts in that time and has gone 13-2-0 in his previous 15 decisions. Tokarski also leads the AHL in wins.

A native of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Tokarski has played in two NHL games with Tampa Bay, both in relief during the 2009-10 season. He made his NHL debut on January 16, 2010 at the Florida Panthers.

Tokarski helped Canada to the Gold Medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.65 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He turned aside 39 of 40 shots in the Gold Medal Game against Sweden as Canada won, 5-1. Tokarski also backstopped the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL to the Memorial Cup in 2008.

The 22-year-old was selected by the Lightning in the fifth round, 122nd overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL Game Night: 3-6-12 Senators at Lightning

Frustration.

OTT-7
TB-3

Mathieu Garon made 3 saves on 3 shots before leaving the game with a lower body injury. Dwayne Roloson allowed 5 goals on 30 shots the rest of the way for the loss. This is bad news if Garon is hurt badly. One of the big differences between this game and prior contests was that Garon was making key saves and key times, even though his save percentage wasn't stellar. Roli not so much.

First Period
OTT Gonchar (3), (Greening, Cowen), 9:38
OTT Greening (13), (Michalek, Kuba), 17:37
OTT Turris (7), (unassisted), 18:30

Second Period
TB Shannon (3), (Pyatt, Connolly), 1:24
TB Wallace (2), (Wyman, Pyatt), 7:12
OTT Karlsson (16), (unassisted)(PP), 11:58

Third Period
TB Stamkos (48), (Purcell, Malone)(PP), 5:41
OTT Michalek (30), (Alfredsson, Kuba)(PP), 12:12
OTT Michalek (31), (unassisted)(EN), 18:33
OTT Michalek (32), (unassisted)(SH)(EN), 19:53

Tom Pyatt was the game's third star.

It's hard for me to protest too loudly considering the team got down 3-0 after the first period, but I think it's safe to say the referees did have a hand in the outcome of this game. I thought the extra 2 given to Aulie for his altercation with Greening was a poor call and I thought the interference call on Stamkos that led to Michalek's first goal was absolutely atrocious. True, in those situations, you need your PK to step up and you need your goaltender to be your best penalty killer. True, neither was the case on those two PK's. But, the Lightning had a lot of momentum before each of those penalties. The team was very fired up after the Aulie fight and even more fired up after Stamkos' power play goal. It looked like they were about to turn the game in their favor, but the refs interceded.

Keith Aulie was +2 with 7 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 6:31. I thought he skated a lot better in this game, and really got to show off his stride once he got off to a gallop a couple of times. And, he really handled his business in the fight against Greening. It's just a shame the ref gave him that extra 2. Like I said, poor call. Even with that call, I feel better about the Aulie acquisition after tonight. He might need some more polish though, and it didn't escape my notice that he was on Norfolk's Clear Day list, so Yzerman may have designs on sending him to the AHL for the playoffs.

Tim Wallace had 1 got, 1 shot, and 1 blocked shot in 6:11, and oh what a shot it was. That was Stamkos-esque.

J.T. Wyman had a helper and was -1 in 8:02.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

European Game Day: 3-5-12 and 3-6-12

3-5-12
KHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(8)Khanty-Mansiysk 3 @ (1)Chelyabinsk 6
Chelyabinsk Leads the Series 3-1
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Playoff totals (KHL): 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
Regular season totals (KHL): 10 GP, 0-0-0, +8, 4 PIM
Regular season totals (MHL): 39 GP, 10-20-30, +13, 64 PIM

Ex-NHLer Stan Chistov had 2 goals and 1 assist in Chelyabinsk's 6-3 win over Yugra. Nikita Nesterov made his second appearance of the postseason after playing 1:54 in Chelyabinsk's wild 7-6 win on Sunday. He played 1:14 in Monday's match. Game Five is Wednesday.

Elsewhere, CSKA was eliminated from the KHL postseason after St. Peterburg clubbed them 5-0 in Game Five. Nikita Kucherov did not appear for CSKA in Game Five.

3-6-12
SM-liiga (Finland):
HIFK 2 @ JYP 1
Riku Helenius, JYP, Loss, 25/27, 2.01 GAA, .926 sv%
Season totals: 31 GP, 19-9-1, 6 SO, 1.68 GAA, .935 sv%

For the first time in a very long time, Riku Helenius has a multi-game losing streak as HIFK defeated JYP 2-1. 3 games remain in the regular season for JYP. They hover a precarious 2 points ahead of 7th place Jokerit in their pursuit of a first round playoff bye, and they'll face Lukko on Thursday.

KHL Western Conference Quarterfinals (Russia)
(4)Mytischi 3 @ (5) Cherepovets 1
Mytischi Leads the Series 3-2
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 32/34, 2.03 GAA, .941 sv%
Playoff totals: 5 GP, 2-3-0, 1 SO, 1.18 GAA, .963 sv%
Regular season totals: 33 GP, 16-11-1, 6 SO, 2.37 GAA, .925 sv%

Ex-NHLer Branko Radivojevic scored a pair of goals to lead Mytischi to a critical Game Five win over Cherepovets. Ex-Blue Jackets first round Nikolai Zherdev had Mytischi's other goal in the match. Game Six is Thursday.

MHL (Russia Jr.):
CSKA Jr. 12 @ Kirov-Chepetsk 3
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr., 3-1-4, +5, 0 PIM, 5 SOG
Season totals (MHL): 22 GP, 24-19-43, +16, 40 PIM
Season totals (KHL): 18 GP, 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM

Nikita Kucherov returned with a vengeance, notching a hat trick and an assist as CSKA Jr. dismantled Kirov-Chepetsk 12-3. Kucherov's long time linemate Nikita Gusev posted an even more impressive 2 goals and 6 points in the win. CSKA Jr. faces KHK MVD Jr. on Thursday.

Elitserien (Sweden):
Vaxjo 1 @ Lulea 4
Johan Harju, Lulea, 0-1-1, +2, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 53 GP, 15-10-25, +12, 16 PIM

Johan Harju assisted on a third period goal in their 4-1 rout of Vaxjo. For Lulea, the game was their season finale. Lulea finishes out the regular season in the top spot in the Elitserien after going 25-13-17 this year. Lulea will face 8th place MODO in the first round of the playoffs. MODO finished 19-22-14 this year, and is the only postseason participant to have a negative goal differential (-1).

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