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Photo Credit: hcSKA/Twitter

VIDEO: Canucks prospect Vasily Podkolzin keeps SKA’s playoff hopes alive with a huge 3-point game in 3-1 win

On the brink of elimination, Vasily Podkolzin stepped up big for his KHL team.

After playing just three minutes in SKA’s last game that saw them lose their third consecutive game in the KHL Western Conference Finals, Podkolzin came into Thursday’s game with one goal in mind: keeping his team’s playoff hopes alive.

Podkolzin didn’t play a lot of minutes in the first two periods of the elimination game but his impact was huge. He assisted on the first goal of the game with a pretty through the legs pass to set up a goal for former Vancouver Canuck Linden Vey.

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After being the 13th forward in Tuesday’s game, Podkolzin was moved up to the third line and shuffled across to the left wing. Podkolzin primarily plays the right wing but has had a half dozen games on the left side this season.

The offence didn’t stop there as he put together a pretty shift for the video nerds in the Canucks organization like Ryan Biech with this high-effort play that ultimately resulted in him pulling the puck out of a board battle and setting up a goal for another former Canuck in Oscar Fantenberg.

I already liked Podkolzin’s shift here as he was effective at forcing a turnover and immediately jumping up on the attack to begin this rush into the zone. He followed that up by being quick to retrieve the puck from the boards and fire it across to the opposite point for Fantenberg to walk in and rip a shot past the goaltender.

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He didn’t stop there, as Podkolzin ripped a wrist shot off the crossbar as he continued to make a huge impact in his limited minutes. This tweet tells the story of how busy he was early on in Thursday’s game.

SKA went into full defence mode in the third period with a 2-0 lead and after CSKA cut that lead down to 2-1, Podkolzin was on the ice late in the game to protect and ultimately extend the one-goal lead. He picked off a pass late in the game with CSKA’s net empty and threw the puck down the ice and into the back of the net to complete his three-point game.

Podkolzin proved his worth just one game after being the extra forward for SKA and will have to see the ice more if SKA wants to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Game five of the series is set to take place on Saturday. SKA trails the series 3-1 and will continue to be on the brink of elimination for the remainder of the series.

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