2012 KHL Schedule: Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk in action

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Four KHL games on Thursday feature nine NHL players, including Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Backstrom.

With the NHL lockout still far from a resolution, a hockey fan's lonely eyes turn to Europe, where the KHL features some of the world's best players, including many NHL refugees.

Thursday's schedule features three teams with trios of NHL players playing together. First off is Evgeni Malkin's Metallurg Magnitogorsk, a team which also features Ottawa's Sergei Gonchar. A later slate of games includes a matchup of Moscow teams including CSKA, temporary home of Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, and a game featuring Dynamo Minsk, where Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom and Winnipeg's Evander Kane are playing.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Sergei Gonchar, Ottawa Senators; Nikolai Kulemin, Toronto Maple Leafs) vs. Sibir Novosibirsk

Metallurg Novokuznetsk vs. Traktor Chelyabinsk

Spartak Moscow vs. CSKA Moscow (Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers; Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto Maple Leafs; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings)

Dynamo Minsk (Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators; Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets) vs. Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod

Although the KHL reached an agreement to broadcast several games on ESPN3, Thursday's games are unavailable.

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