The year 2014 wasn’t all for naught for Russia.
Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin each scored to help Russia defeat Pekka Rinne and Finland 5-2 in the gold medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Championships in Belarus.
Ovechkin’s goal 7:34 into the second period tied the game 2-2 and Malkin’s 5-on-3 power play goal put Russia ahead for good 8:02 later. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots to earn the win for Russia. Rinne stopped 34 for Finland.
Have a look at Malkin’s eventual game-winning goal here:
The gold medal is Russia’s fourth in the past seven years at Worlds. While they haven’t won gold at the Olympics since 1992 (then as the Commonwealth of Independent States), they’ve dominated the annual tournament of late. The Russian team
Next year’s tournament heads to Prague and Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
Here are the full highlight’s from Russia’s win.
With just two days until the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden and only hours until the bronze medal game, that doesn’t leave much time for wondering what the odds are in each game.
Online oddsmaker Bovada.lv has come through and, for entertainment’s sake, they’ve got the North American teams looking good to win against their Scandinavian opponents.
Bovada lists Canada as a 2/1 favorite to win gold against Sweden. The odds on the Swedes winning are a bit longer at 33/20.
Both teams head into the game on Sunday (7 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC) undefeated and both teams are coming off one-goal wins against rivals. Team Canada defeated Team USA 1-0 while Sweden beat Finland 2-1.
In the bronze medal game, Bovada lists Team USA as a 19/10 favorite, virtually 2/1, to beat Finland. The Finns, meanwhile, are 8/5 to beat the United States. Those two face off Saturday (10 a.m. ET on NBCSN) for the third-place hardware.
If betting on a team isn’t your thing, the over/under on number of total goals scored in each games is 4.5. With how goaltending has been all tournament, good luck betting the over.
It seems Canada isn’t the only team that has to deal with dissatisfied fans even in the face of victory.
Russia’s 4-0 win against Norway on Tuesday helped move them into the quarterfinals and a pair of goals in the closing minutes helped pad the lead. One critique they faced was that they weren’t fired up to face a non-rival like Norway.
Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t agree with that at all as Russia’s RSport shares.
“Everyone played well, everyone did their job,” said Datsyuk. “A very tough game. I don’t agree that we weren’t fired up for the Norwegians,” he added, but conceded: “It probably looked that way from the back-row seats.”
Take that, people sitting far away.
You’d have to almost forgive Russia if they were looking ahead to the next round against Finland. Norway performed the worst of the 12 teams during the preliminary round and didn’t look thrilling doing so.
As it was, Russia outshot Norway 31-22 and poured it on in the second period by a 14-6 margin. They may not be succeeding with flash and dash with superstars scoring all over the place, but with the goal to win gold, the Russians keep marching along whether they look fired up or not.
It may not have been a thrilling game to watch, but Canada’s 2-1 overtime win against Finland proved something to the Finns:
They can hang with the best in the world.
Finland captain Teemu Selanne told Olympic News Service that while a loss stinks, he knows they’ve got what it takes to win.
“We realized we can beat these guys,” said Selanne. “Obviously it’s a bad break at the end, but that’s hockey.”
The Finnish roster is a young one, but Selanne understands that hard-fought games like that teach a lesson that can carry them deeper in the tournament.
“When my teammates realized we can compete against these guys, it was a totally different game,” said Selanne. “That was a good confidence boost for us, and we can beat anybody when we play our best. Even with all the injuries that we have. That’s what happens in hockey. Just believe and do your best.”
Finland is without Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, and now Aleksander Barkov but that hasn’t slowed them down winning two out of three games in round-robin play and earning a bye into the quarterfinals. They’ll face the winner of Russia vs. Norway in that round.
Florida Panthers and Team Finland forward Aleksander Barkov could be out a bit longer after the injury he suffered against Norway.
A Finnish site reports Barkov will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. Barkov battled a knee injury earlier this season that cost him four games.
George Richards of The Miami Herald suggests the Panthers could shut Barkov down for the year because there are eight weeks left in the season.
Barkov went into the Olympics holding down a lofty spot on a line with Mikael Granlund and Teemu Selanne. Playing with Selanne was something the 18-year-old Barkov was looking forward to doing.
While his Olympics were already shot, the blow it deals to the Panthers lineup is a tough one. Barkov had been playing on the top line in Florida and was showing he was worth the team taking him second overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.