2012 KHL schedule: Saturday slate features four games

Bruce Bennett

Following an eight-game slate on Friday, Saturday's KHL schedule features four games, including 2012 No. 1 draft pick Nail Yakupov's Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk versus Ak Bars Kazan.

While the NHL lockout drags on, several NHL players will be taking the ice in Kontinental Hockey League action on Saturday.

The premier game on the schedule for Saturday features the second-best team in the East Conference, Ak Bars Kazan, battling the East Conference's No. 8 team, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk at 10 a.m. ET. Ak Bars Kazan currently trails Avangard by three points in the East Conference standings, and while Ak Bars' roster doesn't contain any NHL players, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk boasts the NHL's No. 1 overall draft pick in 2012, right winger Nail Yakupov.

Also in action on Saturday is the West Conference's No. 7 team, Severstal Cherepovets, taking on the conference's No. 8 team, Donbass Donetsk. Donbass features Anton Babchuk of the Calgary Flames, Ruslan Fedotenko of the Philadelphia Flyers and Alexei Ponikarovsky of the Winnipeg Jets. The puck is slated to drop at 10 a.m. ET in that contest.

The slate's third game pits the West's No. 13 squad, Vityaz Chekhov, against No. 12 Dinamo Riga. Vityaz features Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens, while Dinamo Riga has Kaspars Daugavins of the Ottawa Senators on its roster. Game time is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET.

Wrapping up Saturday's KHL schedule is a game between another pair of West Conference teams, No. 10 Dinamo Minsk and cellar-dwelling Spartak Moscow. They will take the ice at 11 a.m. ET. Dinamo Minsk's roster features Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.

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