MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti)
Three second-period goals by Mikhail Varnakov helped Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod thrash Dynamo Moscow 4-0 on home ice on Wednesday.
Despite the defeat, Gagarin Cup holder Dynamo still leads the Western Conference, while Torpedo is fifth.
Martin Thornberg opened the scoring for the hosts on seven minutes after Ilya Krikunov assisted him from behind the net.
But it was Torpedo veteran Varnakov, in the team since 2003, who scored the hat trick in the space of ten second-period minutes to ruin Dynamo’s chances for a comeback.
Dynamo goaltender Alexander Yeremenko, who posted his third shutout of the season on Monday in a 3-0 defeat of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, was substituted after the second period by rookie goaltender Alexander Sharychenkov.
The 21-year-old didn’t concede any goals, but the star lockout signings Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals couldn’t expose any weaknesses of Torpedo goaltender Vitaly Koval either.
Koval stopped 39 shots to post his third shutout of the season.
In another game Wednesday, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl beat SKA St. Petersburg at home 2-1, with all the goals scored in the first period.
Alexander Guskov, who joined Lokomotiv from CSKA Moscow earlier this month as part of a two-way trade that saw Lokomotiv defenseman Maxim Kondratiev move to the capital, scored twice for the hosts before Kevin Dallman pulled one back for SKA.
Lokomotiv ended SKA’s seven-game winning streak and is second in the West, while Milos Riha’s men are one place below.
Elsewher, in Ukraine, Donbass Donetsk beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk in overtime 4-3.
Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin scored the first goal of the game and provided two assists, but his efforts weren't enough to overcome the KHL newcomer as Ruslan Fedotenko scored the winner in the last minute of overtime after netting twice in regulation.
Magnitogorsk is third in the East, four points behind leader Traktor Chelyabinsk, while Donbass is just outside the playoff zone in the West on ninth.
Elsewhere, Avangard Omsk beat Vityaz Chekhov on the road 3-1, with last season’s Gagarin Cup runner-up now fourth in the East and Vityaz is tenth in the West.
In other games Wednesday, Severstal Cherepovets beat visitors from Kazakhstan Barys Astana on penalty shots 3-2, Spartak Moscow thrashed Avtomobilist Yeakaterinburg at home 6-1 and Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk beat Dynamo Minsk 3-2 on the road.
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The self-defense forces in Donbass likely do not have the capability to win. Kiev will simply outlast the republic’s fighters. Ukraine still has many mobilization resources. The most important thing for self-defense fighters is not to win the war but rather not to lose it.