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. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Borussia Dortmund took a big step toward the Champions League quarterfinals with a 4-2 victory at Zenit St. Petersburg on Tuesday. Losing finalists last year, Dortmund made a blistering start with Henrikh Mkhitaryan scoring in the fourth minute and Marco Reus doubling the visitors lead a minute later. Zenit, which hadnt played a competitive game since Dec. 11 due to the Russian winter break, looked rusty, but pulled one back through Oleg Shatov in the 57th. Lewandowski replied four minutes later, after playing a one-two with Poland teammate Lukasz Piszczek. Then Piszczek conceded a penalty and Hulk scored emphatically from the spot in the 69th. Lewandowski responded by scoring his sides fourth away goal two minutes later to leave Dortmund firmly in control before the second-leg of the round-of-16 tie on March 19. "We were close to optimal this evening," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said. "It was a great game, no question." After more than two months without competitive football, the home side buckled early on under the visitors pressure and struggled to keep up with their quick passing game. The tactics quickly paid off for Dortmund when Reus ran at the Zenit defence, staying on his feet when he might have been awarded a penalty, before Mkhitaryan swept the loose ball past Yuri Lodygin. The visiting fans were still celebrating when Kevin Grosskreutz knocked Mkhitaryans cross back for Reus to volley inside the right post. "We stayed compact. We wanted to pressure them to win back the ball. That was very important," Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl said. "We brought the game in the right direction and made Zenit uncertain." Zenits attacking midfielder Andrey Arshavin went off with what looked a hamstring injury in the 15th minute, and last-gasp defending from its captain Nicolas Lombaerts prevented Lewandowski from getting Dortmunds third shortly afterward. Zenit was let down by sloppy play and nervous defending, with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who came on for the injured Arshavin, giving the ball away cheaply to highlight his sides travails. Hulk was fired up but his shot failed to trouble Roman Weidenfeller and his only reward for taking on three Dortmund defenders was a corner, which came to nothing. Lodygin pulled off a good save to deny Lewandowski three minutes after the interval, before Zenit responded with a period of pressure. It finally paid off when Shatov scored in fortuitous fashion. Marcel Schmelzer cleared Hulks effort off the line and Jose Rondon struck the post from the rebound, before the loose ball fell kindly for Shatov to blast home. Dortmund soon replied, with Lewandowski playing a one-two with Poland teammate Lukasz Piszczek and firing beyond Lodygin, who got a touch to the ball. The home side was given a lifeline when Piszczek was adjudged to have fouled Viktor Fayzulin. Hulk duly obliged with his penalty. But Lewandowski provided another immediate response after Tymoshchuk lost possession. Reus sent the ball into the Poland strikers path and he fired inside the far corner for his sixth of the campaign. "I dont have the feeling that it was easy," Klopp said in response to a question from a Russian journalist. "I think we had to work very hard." The game was played with the section normally occupied by Zenits ultra fans closed due to racist behaviour, fireworks and crowd disturbances during a group stage loss at Austria Vienna on Dec. 11. There was also tight security in place around the Petrovsky Stadium to prevent any further trouble. Zenits Italian coach Luciano Spalletti said the tie was not yet decided and that his side still has a chance of going through. "In football theres always a chance of coming back," Spalletti said. "Everything depends on what kind of performance you deliver. It all depends on what you put into it, how much youre prepared to run. It depends on your effort." Red Jerod Mayo Elite Mens Jersey
. Ecclestone dismissed on Wednesday any clash between the series, after the top executive at Texas Motor Speedway called F1 "arrogant" for scheduling the United States Grand Prix in Austin on the same weekend that his track hosts NASCAR in Fort Worth. Two Tone Rob Gronkowski Elite Mens Jersey
. - The Abbotsford Heat hope a last-minute goal keeps their season alive for more than one extra game. CALGARY -- Faced with losing a big asset and getting little in return, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster dealt defenceman Tim Erixon to the New York Rangers. Erixon, Calgarys first-round draft pick in 2009, had to be signed by Wednesday afternoon or he went back in the draft later this month in Minneapolis. Erixon wouldnt sign the standard three-year rookie contract and, according to Feaster, was willing to take his chances in the draft again. So the Flames GM sent the 20-year-old Swede and a fifth-round pick to the Rangers and got Czech left-winger Roman Horak and a pair of second-round draft picks in return. The Rangers announced Wednesday theyd signed Erixon to an entry-level deal. The maximum annual salary at 2009 draft pick can make under the collective bargaining agreement is US$900,000, plus bonuses. Calgarys second-round picks are projected to be 43rd and 57th overall, which will give the Flames three selections in the first 60 and five in total June-24-25 at the Xcel Energy Center. Calgary took Erixon 23rd overall two years ago. Had Erixon re-entered the draft, the Flames would have received one second-round pick (54th) in compensation. "You never want to lose a first-round pick you feel is going to play," Feaster said Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome. "What would have hurt more would have been losing him for only the compensatory pick. If I were standing here in front of you today saying we lost this player and dont worry because we got the 54th overall pick in the draft this year, thats a much tougher thing than to have two second-round picks and a player we believe is going to play." Horak, from Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, has played for the Western Hockey Leagues Chilliwack Bruins the last two years. The six-foot-one, 160-pound forward had 26 goals and 52 assists in 64 games last season and played with another Flames prospect Ryan House. Horak, 20, was drafted in the fifth round (127th overall) by the Rangers in 2009. "We like his worth ethic, we like his compete, we think he will play in the National Hockey League," Feaster said. Erixons father Jan played for the Rangers and Tim was born in New York State, although he competes for Sweden internationally. Erixon had five goals and 19 assists for Skelleftea in the Swedishh Elite League this past season. Grey Darrelle Revis Game Drift Jersey
. According to Feaster, Erixon was concerned he wouldnt get to play for the Flames this season because theyve been a team at the salary camp limit and, with four defenceman having no-trade or no-movement clauses, the Swede thought he would get sent to the minors where he doesnt want to go. Feaster says he offered to include a European assignment clause in the deal. "I felt it was a moot point. I felt he was going to be on our hockey team and he was ready to play in the NHL," Feaster said. "As discussions advanced, it became clear there were other concerns. "He expressed concern, at least the agent did, that with our recent track record in Calgary, there arent a lot of young players making the hockey club. "My point to that is to whether young players are ready to play or not. Were committed to bringing young players onto the team if theyre ready to play." Rangers GM Glen Sather had been aggressively pursuing the acquisition of Erixon, Feaster continued, and when it became clear Tuesday there was no chance in signing the defenceman, it was time to salvage something from the situation. "We tried. We made multiple offers. We made offers of salary-cap levels," Feaster said. "All of which were met with we appreciate it very much, but we still have concerns about whether Tim will be given a legitimate opportunity." Feaster and Craig Conroy, who is a special assistant to Feaster, flew to New York last Friday and negotiated with Erixons agent Rick Komarow to no avail. "As I said to Connie afterward, thats a long way to go for lunch, albeit a tasty lunch, but still a long way to go for lunch," Feaster joked. Meanwhile, the Flames GM said hes still negotiating to re-sign winger Alex Tanguay, who become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Tanguay had 22 goals and 47 assists in 79 games for Calgary this past season. "Its actually my turn to get back to them," Feaster said. "The lines of communication are open. Were still optimistic to get him signed." He also said the team did not make offers to wingers Spencer Bennett and Henrik Bjorkland, both drafted in 2009, and 2008 draftee Alexander Deilert. The three players are eligible for the draft again. ' ' '