Russia Is Out As Finland Moves On
It wasn’t supposed to end this way for Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. Yet it did as Tuukka Rask held Russia to one goal in Finland’s 3-1 victory.
Russia, the perennial NHL powerhouse headed to Sochi, prepared to return home to their NHL cities with an Olympic medal in tow. On a team anchored by Ovechkin and teammates Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk, anything less than gold would be considered a monumental disappointment. Unfortunately for Ovechkin and his fellow comrades, Tuukka Rask and Team Finland had other plans.
Finland emerged the victor in Wednesday’s contest against Russia at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, weathering an early Russian storm led by Ilya Kovalchuck to score three unanswered goals and head to the semi-final round, and a date with Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden.
Rask (37 Saves) was the difference maker against the Russians, repeatedly stopping every scoring chance that was thrown at him. 14 of his 37 saves came in the third period alone.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Mikael Granlund was a key cog in Finland generating their offense, compiling a goal and an assist to go alone with a plus one rating for the game. Granlund also led all Finnish players with five shots on goal.
Anaheim Ducks winger and ageless wonder Teemu Selanne also added a goal and an assist, and broke a record he set days earlier as the oldest player to score in an Olympic game.
Finland heads to the semi-finals to face NYR starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Team Sweden. Lundqvist is fresh off a 19 save shutout of Slovenia, his second shut out of the tournament. Lundqvist has been unstoppable thus far these Olympics, allowing just three goals in tournament play. Rangers winger Carl Hagelin also added two goals in the Sweden victory. Sweden and Finland will collide in their semi-final matchup on Friday.