Grigo blanked as Russians gain series edge

Mikhail Grigorenko was again held off the scoresheet Monday as Russia downed Canada 6-5 to take game #3 of the Canada/Russia Challenge in Halifax. The Russians now lead the series 2-1 with the concluding game #4 taking place Tuesday evening (7pm, TSN).

Grigorenko centered a line with 2012 top pick Nail Yakupov and Memorial Cup hero Anton Zlobin. Despite not getting in on any of the half-dozen goals, the 6'3 pivot continued to impact the play with his vision and puck skills. His best opportunity came on a 2x1 break in the second period when he drove the net and saw his backhand off a Yakupov feed stopped by Flames prospect Laurent Brossiot.

As Sabres fans get acclimated to his game, they'll notice his awareness as a center. He sees the ice well in both zones, and while not being the most intense forechecker on the ice, knows his spots and smartly comes back defensively. The extra gear displayed pre-mono is also starting to re-emerge, as the ability to gobble up ice with the puck on his stick was briefly flashed late in the third. There was one particular play where he could have pushed the puck deep as opposed to trying to make a play to the middle, but overall he has played well in the three series games.

View the video below for shift-by-shift coverage of Grigorenko's game #3:

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