Read: Game Recap
Final, 3-2 Russia/U.S. (Shootout): That was one of the most thrilling shootouts imaginable, with the U.S. winning in eight rounds.
Because Olympic rules allow teams to use the same shooter as many times as desired in the sudden death rounds, Bylsma was able to send Oshie out there six times. He scored four of those times, which is a bit absurd.
Quick also stood tall for the U.S., stopping some of the most lethal goal scorers in the entire world.
Here’s how the shootout played out.
Round 1, USA: T.J. Oshie, GOAL. A slow, composed Oshie crept in and fired five-hole. U.S. leading 1-0.
Round 1, Russia: Evgeni Malkin, NO GOAL. Quick got just enough of a quick shot aimed high to the glove side. Quick stayed in place and deflected the shot away.
Round 2, USA: James van Riemsdyk, NO GOAL. JVR skated slowly to net along the right side and fired blocker side. Bobrovsky made the save.
Round 2, Russia: Pavel Datsyuk, NO GOAL. Datsyuk skated straight up the middle and tried to go backhand. Quick slid right to left and made the glove save. U.S. leads 1-0 after two rounds.
Round 3, USA: Joe Pavelski, NO GOAL. With the chance to win it, Pavelski skated with a full head of steam up the left side before stopping and over-deking. Bobrovsky had time to relax and stay in position to make an easy stop.
Round 3, Russia: Ilya Kovalchuk, GOAL. Needing a goal to keep Russia’s hopes alive, Kovalchuk skated full speed up the left speed and smoked a wrister past Quick’s glove. Extra rounds now.
Round 4, Russia: Kovalchuk, NO GOAL. The rules state you can repeat skaters after the third round, and this time, Kovalchuk couldn’t score. Quick was in position to stop him this time.
Round 4, USA: Oshie, NO GOAL. Once again, Oshie skated in slowly, and he had an open net, but Bobrovsky made the stick save.
Round 5, Russia: Datsyuk, GOAL. Again right up the middle, Quick initially made the save but the puck trickled just past the goal line. The puck made it through Quick’s right side.
Round 5, USA: Oshie, GOAL. With his third attempt, Oshie again skated slowly before faking a shot and getting Bobrovsky to open up the five hole. Oshie then buried it to keep the U.S. alive.
Round 6, Russia: Kovalchuk, GOAL. A third opportunity for Ilya was beautiful. He simply kept the puck behind his body and went top shelf after getting Quick to commit.
Round 6, USA: Oshie, GOAL. On his fourth attempt, Oshie went perhaps slower than ever and beat Bobrovsky to the glove side. This guy is amazing. Crossbar, off the ice, and in.
Round 7, Russia: Datsyuk, NO GOAL. Not this time, as Quick covered up the five hole with the stick.
Round 7, USA: Oshie, NO GOAL. Hey, might as well stick with the hot hand, eh? Oshie made a serpentine route toward net, going to his backhand, but Bobrovsky was able to make another stick save. huge.
Round 8, Russia: Kovalchuk, NO GOAL. Quick made a desperate diving attempt to make either a toe or glove save. Unbelievable.
Round 8, USA: Oshie, GOAL. In this chapter of Oshie vs. Russia, T.J. again weaved way toward net and smoked one past Bobrovsky, through the five hole. Game over, USA wins. The first thing Oshie did? He pointed to his goaltender.
The U.S. gets two points for that win, while Russia takes one point for the shootout loss. That means the U.S. can secure a bye with a win over Slovenia tomorrow.
End of overtime, 2-2: A great save by Quick on an Ovechkin shot, and a Bobrovsky stop of Kane on a backhand attempt in close keep this game tied, and the two teams are heading to a shootout.
Three different skaters will make their shootout attempts, and after that, teams are allowed to use the same player as many times as wanted/need during the sudden death rounds.
Overtime, 1:38, 2-2: Patrick Kane walked in all alone on a breakaway, and he tried to go five-hole. Bobrovsky was up the challenge, though, making a stick save and keeping Russia alive.
Overtime, 5:00, 2-2: Here we go. OT is under way.
Kane, Pavelski, Shattenkirk, Suter are out there for U.S.
End of regulation, 2-2: They are heading to overtime in Sochi.
This game has lived up to all of the hype, and it’s probably better than anyone could have anticipated. While Russia probably feels a bit cheated that Tyutin’s goal was disallowed, the net was clearly off the pegs. Considering the shot only just barely made it under the crossbar, that’s a factor.
The U.S. will have 29 seconds of power play time to begin a five-minute overtime period.
Third period, 1:32, 2-2: And now, the biggest opportunity of the game for USA.
Evgeni Medvedev interefered with Ryan Callahan on a simple rush, and the U.S. will get a power play that will last for the duration of regulation. That is, unless the U.S. buries a third power-play goal.
Third period, 4:40, 2-2: This is not going to go over well in Russia.
Fedor Tyutin’s blast from the point seemingly gave Russia a 3-2 lead. However, on video review, officials ruled that he net was out of place by just a few inches. Nobody knew that when the decision was made, though.
Initially, it was believed the goal was taken away due to the shot being played with a high stick. The TV replay showed that Radulov did not touch the puck, and even if he had, it wasn’t a high stick. The goal being off its moorings helps explain it, even if it was only by an inch or so.
Third period, 7:16, 2-2: It took all of 17 seconds of power play time for the Russians to tie the game.
Datsyuk wasted no time, firing a hard wrister from the right faceoff circle. Radulov screened Quick, a bit of redemption for him, and this game is tied.
Buckle up now. It’s only going to get crazier.
Third period, 7:34, 2-1 USA: The frenzied pace of the Russian comeback attempt comes to a halt only because Dustin Brown got called for a penalty in the neutral zone.
The U.S. has killed all of their penalties thus far, but the Russian team is flying around right now. This kill will be the most difficult.
Third period, 10:33, 2-1 USA: The Americans have a lead.
Patrick Kane sent a cross-ice pass from the half wall all the way to the other faceoff circle, and Pavelski one-timed it into the net before Bobrovsky could go from the left to right post.
That pass was an absolute beauty from Kane, and Pavelski did a great job to bear down and make sure he buried that opportunity.
For Radulov … this is a tough day of work for him. While the penalty call was pretty weak, he’ll still likely be painted as the goat if Russia can’t come back.
Third period, 11:33, 1-1: Now, America gets it chance on the power play. It’s Radulov again going to the box. Another weak call — this one hooking — and the U.S. has a golden opportunity.
Third period, 14:30, 1-1: Another penalty killed, thanks to more hard work and an excellent right-to-left pad save by Quick on a one-timer by Malkin.
Third period, 16:46, 1-1: Well, it’s back to the PP for Russia, as Dustin Brown goes off for interference. Terrible call. We’ll see if it’s costly.
The U.S. has been strong on the penalty kill, but at a certain point, you can only play with fire for so long.
Third period, 17:41, 1-1: Penalty, killed. Russia got nothing going on that man advantage, and we have 17:41 left to decide this one.
The U.S. penalty kill is dedicated to the cause here. Just a relentless effort on the PK, putting bodies in front of shots and outworking the opponent. High marks for the U.S. on the PK.
Third period, 20:00, 1-1: The third period is under way, with Russia on the PP.
The U.S. leads in shots 23-21. The biggest two minutes of the game happen right now.
End of second period, 1-1: Inside the final second of the period, Patrick Kane gets called for a penalty. He hooked down Alexei Tereshenko in the corner, and Russia will have a power play to start the third period.
A few minutes prior, the painful day continued for Ryan Kesler. He skated into the corner to lay a hit on Anton Belov, and the Russian defenseman pulled an olé move and sidestepped Kesler, who went slamming into the boards and bearing the brunt of the impact with his back. To make matters worse, Belov then dropped on top of Kesler and spent some time resting on top of the American forward. Kesler’s really earned his ice bath today.
As for the game, this upcoming Russian power play is the biggest moment. A U.S. kill would go a long way in turning some momentum, but a Russian goal will create an extraordinarily difficult environment for a U.S. comeback.
Second period, 3:24, 1-1: It wasn’t pretty, but it counts.
A Phil Kessel shot on net was blocked in front and was passed across the crease from James van Riemsdyk. The puck deflected off Cam Fowler’s skate and into the net. It wasn’t kicked in, so it counts, and this game is tied.
Second period, 4:43, 1-0 Russia: The U.S. is heading on the power play, after Alexander Radulov lays a body check on an unsuspecting player in the neutral zone, far away from the play.
Second period, 5:36, 1-0 Russia: The U.S. had perhaps its best opportunity of the game, as Ryan Suter’s slapper from the point was redirected by Backes. The puck sailed just wide of an empty net, though, and play continued.
Backes and Tyutin had gone off earlier for matching cross-checking penalties, after Tyutin hit Backes into the net.
Second period, 10:45, 1-0 Russia: Pavel Datsyuk slipped between the U.S. defense and charged toward net, and that’s never good news for an opponent.
Datsyuk let loose a quick snapper that beat Quick to the glove side and gave the Russians a 1-0 lead. Blame Brooks Orpik for that one, as he simply guessed wrong as to where Datsyuk was going, thereby giving the whole middle of the ice to one of the best players in the world. Terrible play by Orpik, and Quick had little chance to stop that one.
The arena, as you can imagine, exploded with excitement after that.
In a positive note for the U.S., Kesler is back, so his hand is presumably not broken.
Second period, 12:39, 0-0: Thanks to extreme dedication by Ryan Kesler and Ryan McDonagh, the U.S. is able to kill the penalty. However, Kesler is heading to the locker room, because the one-time blast from Kovalchuk which he blocked hit him in the hand. That hurts, as there’s not enough protection in a glove to handle that kind of power.
That means for now, Blake Wheeler will probably see some more ice.
Also on the power play, Ovechkin caught the crossbar with a slap shot from the left faceoff circle. First break of the game goes the U.S. way.
Second period, 15:00, 0-0: Russia had its big chance, with Ovechkin redirecting a hard Malkin pass on net and with Stastny putting a hard shot on net down the other end. But both were stopped, and now Russia goes on the power play, after Max Pacioretty essentially tackled Nichuskin on the rush.
Second period, 18:32, 0-0: The Russians kill the rest of the penalty, with the U.S. trying to make the perfect play rather than the simple one. That’s a tough way to score. It’s actually how they played the third period against Slovakia. At the time, I chalked that up to the fact that they were mid-blowout and had the room to be a little creative. But that’s no recipe for scoring in a game like this.
Second period, 20:00, 0-0: Second period under way, with the U.S. on the power play.
End of first period, 0-0: It was all Patrick Kane on the 30-plus seconds of that power play, as he rifled three shots on net. Bobrovsky stood up to all three, and he turned aside Kesler’s bid on the rebound.
The U.S. will have 1:13 of PP time when the second period begins. For now, both teams will get some hard-earned rest. That period was frenzied.
First period, 36.2, 0-0: Now the U.S. is heading to the power play, as Ilya Nikulin is called for a penalty after tackling Max Pacioretty off a faceoff.
First period, 2:14, 0-0: Russia’s gotten some of the better chances in the latter half of this period. They lead in shots 12-7, but Quick has been sharp, and the Americans have been quick to limit all Russian opportunities to one-and-done.
First period, 4:20, 0-0: A goal celebration by Russia (Ovechkin) proved to be premature, as Jon Quick turned away a doorstep bid from Malkin.
First period, 7:23, 0-0: The Russian power play looked dangerous for the first minute, but the U.S. held on, with Quick making a nifty toe save on Malkin. The Russians never really got much going after that, and it’s back to 5-on-5.
First period, 9:32, 0-0: In what is (I believe) his first shift of the day, Blake Wheeler gets called for tripping in the neutral zone. That’s tough.
Russia to the power play. Look. Out.
First period, 10:56, 0-0: The teams are exchanging chances, and the pace is borderline out of control. These teams are going hard.
Right now, Russia leads in shot 5-4.
First period, 15:34, 0-0: Emotions are high on the ice too, as Ryan Callahan gets into a mini-scrap with Evgeni Medvedev after Sergei Bobrovsky gloved the Rangers captain’s long wrist shot.
Some pushing and shoving ensued, but no penalties.
First period, 18:47, 0-0: In just over a minute, it’s clear that the arena is frenzied. The crowd is chanting, screaming and blowing horns, and when the Russians show even a hint of a rush into the offensive zone, the electricity level rises even higher.
First period, 20:00: The U.S. and Russia are under way in Sochi!
7:17 a.m.: U.S. head coach Dan Bylsma spoke with Pierre McGuire before the game and explained the challenges facing his team today.
“The atmosphere is going to pose some problem, just coming into a hostile environment,” Bylsma said. “I think it’s going to maybe be unlike any we’ve played in front of. Just playing in front of these fans, they’re different than North American fans. They’ll be charing right from the get-go in warmups right to the bitter end. It creates a different atmosphere in the building.
“With the Russian team, you’re looking at skill through the top six, seven forwards, right into their third line. You look at Malkin, Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Datsyuk — you know they have a ton of skill coming at you. They want to play a rush game, they want to come at you with that speed, and we have to be real careful not to get into that type of game.”
7 a.m.: It’s not exactly 1980, but U.S. vs. Russia in Olympic hockey, in Russia? This is a big one.
A hostile environment and a motivated Russian team await the Americans, who are riding rather high after a 7-1 blowout win over Slovakia in their first game.
Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for the Russians in their debut, as they found themselves in a much tighter game with Slovenia than anyone could have predicted. Yet Russia eventually settled things down in the third period, skating to a 5-2 win.
As far as preliminary round games go, this is just about as big as they come. There is no danger of being eliminated, and a loss would not bury either team, but both teams will be using the other as a measuring stick, and they’ll be putting it all on the line.
It will be Jon Quick between the pipes yet again for the U.S., as Dan Bylsma is sticking with the better goalie right now, instead of giving Ryan Miller a chance based on past accomplishments. It’s a good call — the Vancouver Olympics were the finest two weeks of Ryan Miller’s entire career. The chances of him rediscovering that magic just because the Olympic rings are painted on the corner boards are awfully low. Quick is the better goalie, and though Miller may get the call against Slovenia tomorrow, it’s clear that Quick is the No. 1.
How will he fare against the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Co.? We shall see in a game that promises to be the exact reason we get excited for Olympic hockey.
Stick with the live blog for updates and analysis from the moment the puck drops until the final whistle.