Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
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KHL.ru picks the best from each country as the season gets to the heart of the plot.

Finland

Harri Sateri

G, Sibir Novosibirsk, 5 G, 4 W, 2 SO, 96.1%, 1.45

The Finnish netminder was monumental between the piping as Sibir Novosibirsk skated past Avtomobilist with a 4-1 score despite lacking the home-arena advantage. Moreover, thanks to his huge effort, he was named the best goalie of the entire first round. The Finnish netminder closed the gates in the first two games of the series as Sibir snatched two road wins in Yekaterinburg. The series went on with Sibir playing better – if excluding game-four – and getting a deserved 4-1 win. Moreover, Sateri set a new club record for the longest shutout streak in the postseason. With more than 143 minutes under his belt, he surpassed Alexander Salak's achievement. Sateri and Sibir are now preparing for the Western Conference semifinals against Barys. It's safe to state that Novosibirsk can boast the goaltending advantage thank to Harri Sateri's heroic play of late.

Czech Republic

Dmitrij Jaskin

F, Dynamo Moscow, 6 G, 6 (3+3) points, +6

In his first year in the KHL, Jaskin took the league by storm, and the playoffs were hardly any different from the regular season for the Russian-born Czech forward. He scored points in all the series' games except for game-four, and in general, Spartak had a hard time in dealing with the Shipachyov and Jaskin dynamic duo. Naturally, the highest reach of the forward was the OT, game-winning goal in the deciding game, when he received the puck from Shipachyov and started maneuvering in the offensive zone. His first shot attempt ricocheted against Patrick Hersley's skate, but then he sent Spartak home with an accurate, yet hard shot that went in next to the closest post. And now, the question is only one: can CSKA stop Dynamo's top guns? In the regular season, CSKA won three games of four, but on Dec. 25, the Blue-and-Whites won 3-0, and Jaskin scored two – this means that Dynamo has all it takes to give the KHL Gagarin Cup reigning champion.

France

Stephane Da Costa

F, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 6 G, 5 (3+2) points, -3

Lokomotiv lost to Jokerit in the first round, but Stephane Da Costa was excellent for his team. The Frenchman was the last to surrender and posed a real threat to the Finn side when it was up by three games – the 30-years-old from Paris, France, scored two consecutive game-winning goals as Lokomotiv closed the gap to a minimum in game five. However, it wasn't enough. Da Costa added yet another one in game-six, but Jokerit was better and won with a 5-1 score. However, the Frenchman was fantastic in game-four. With Lokomotiv on the edge of an abyss, he took his team by the hand and first assisted Yegor Averin's tally in the third period. He then took the initiative himself and scored the game-winner in a five-on-three powerplay stretch when he sent the home fans through the roof with a laser from the left circle with less than five minutes to go. Unfortunately for Da Costa, once again, his team suffered from an early exit – will next year be the right one for the Frenchman?

Canada

Matthew Frattin

F, Ak Bars, 4 G, 5 (3+2) points, +4

The series between Ak Bars and Neftekhimik was one of the most onesided in the first round, as Kazan defeated their Tatar cousins in only four games. Frattin started strong – he scored four points in the first two contests, including a double in game-one. After being silent in the 2-1, OT win in game-three, Frattin assisted the lone goal scored in the decisive game four, when he elusively delivered the puck to a waiting Stanislav Galiyev in the right circle. With five points, Frattin led all Ak Bars players and is tied only by Emil Galimov at the three-goal mark. The second-round Green Derby will see Ak Bars facing Salavat Yulaev – this will be an exciting series, and Kazan's bench boss Dmitry Kvartalnov needs Frattin to play at the same high level.

Denmark

Niklas Jensen

F, Jokerit, 6 G, 7 (4+3) points, +5

One of the league's top scorers, Jensen further cemented his status in the first-round series against Lokomotiv. The Jokers skated past Lokomotiv with a 4-2 score, and the Danish international was instrumental for the Finnish side, scoring three even-strength goals and topping all Jokerit players with seven points. The 27-years-old from Herning started the series strong with a three-point performance in game one's triumph by Jokerit. Jensen also scored goals in game three and six, and looked in perfect shape. Jokerit is going to face SKA in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and St. Petersburg will have to work hard to limit the forward's effort in the offensive zone.

Sweden

Linus Omark

F, Salavat Yulaev, 6 G, 12 (1+11) points, +7

Against Avangard, the Swedish wizard was nothing short than phenomenal, posting two points per night on average and looking unstoppable. Omark had five multi-point games out of six matches, and leads the assists rankings by a mile – Brian O'Neill, the second-placed player in the standings – has only six helpers. On Mar. 5, when Salavat Yulaev defeated Avangard with a 6-3 score, Omark had a hat-trick of assists. Oddly enough, he scored his lone goal when Salavat Yulaev lost, in game one. In the Eastern Conference semifinals against Ak Bars, a lot will depend on the Nordic Connection's play for Ufa.

Alessandro Seren Rosso Alessandro Seren Rosso
exclusive for khl.ru

Related clubs

Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
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