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Slovakia outlasts Ovechkin, Russia in shootout

(Shaun Best/Reuters)

From the AP:

Pavol Demitra scored on Slovakia's seventh attempt in a shootout and Jaroslav Halak made some big saves, lifting the Slovaks to a 2-1 win over Russia on Thursday night in a thriller at the Vancouver Games.
Two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin scored on one of three chances in the shootout for the Russians.
Marian Hossa scored midway through the third period to pull the Slovaks into a tie. Russia's Alex Morozov had a goal early in the second period.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 31 shots through the overtime for the Russians, and Halak had 36 saves entering the shootout.
Slovakia had a 5-on-3 power play for more than a minute early in the third but couldn't take advantage, and the Russians failed to score with an extra skater midway through the period.
Both teams looked tired in the overtime, leading to few scoring chances.

For more on the game, go to Heavy Medal.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  February 19, 2010; 2:51 AM ET
 | Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Olympics, Semyon Varlamov  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sidney Crosby's shootout goal saves a nation
Next: Sweden hangs on to beat Belarus


That sure looks like Mike Green sitting in back of OV's hit...

Posted by: Shipdriver | February 19, 2010 5:02 AM | Report abuse

soooo. no bias here, eh? *sarcasm*

'slovakia outlasts ovechkin, russia'


'crosby shootout goal saves nation'

soon the article titles will be something like 'crosby cures cancer during second intermission and wins shootout single-handedly!'

Posted by: 33spinner | February 19, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

Russia definitely looked a little shaky out there last night. But wow, Slovakia really played with heart! It was fun to see Zednik and Juice out there, and know that they are GMed by Bonzai!

I cannot wait until Russia gets to play at a normal (or more decent time) and on better ice (not last of three games). I think their game relies on good puck possession, and its harder to have that on what looks like choppier ice. I thought Ov had a good physical game, but it seemed that not only were his skates bothering him a bit last night, but so were his sticks...something seemed a little off.

Sad I am missing Sweden today (and that I missed USA yesterday) but oh well. Heres to a good game by Backstrom!

Posted by: The_Stanley_Caps | February 19, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Was that a big coaching error by the Russians? Everyone knows Kozlov has like the best shootout percentage in NHL history. And, as Caps fans, we know Semin does better than Ovi. Ovechkin on the shootout seems to out-think himself, whereas on breakaways in games he scores because he does it by reaction.

Now we'll have to hear Milbury go on and on how Crosby won the game and Ovi failed, even though Crosby missed his first attempt while Ovi made his.

We can assume Slovakia will whip up on Latvia to have 5 points and Latvia zero. Czech will have 6 pts and Russia 4 going into final game. Russia must win the game, either regulation or OT to advance. An OT loss ties them with Slovakia, and I would guess Slovaks get tiebreaker. Is that it? Two from each group go forward?

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 19, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse


Every team advances. Top 4 teams get a bye. Team 5 plays team 12.
Team 6 plays team 11.
Team 7 plays team 10.
Team 8 plays team 9.

8 teams then play in quarterfinals.

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Thank God I decided to just DVR the games last night and go to bed. Don't think I could stand watching Cindy get all the glory and the Russians losing. That will be seven hours of DVR I just delete!

Posted by: PhilR | February 19, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Was it me or was Crosby fairly invisible last night, except when he got bloodied.

Posted by: jeets | February 19, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

If the US pulls out a win vs Canada, they will likely get the top seed because of goal differential. That also could be said if Canada beats USA. My prediction. USA beats Canada 4-3.

1.Team SWE 3-0-0-0 9pts GF-11 GA-2
2.Team USA 3-0-0-0 9pts GF-13 GA-5
3.Team RUS 2-0-0-1 7pts GF-12 GA-5
4.Team CZE 2-1-0-0 6pts GF-11 GA-4
5.Team FIN 2-1-0-0 6pts GF-8 GA-4
6.Team CAN 1-1-1-0 5pts GF-14 GA-6
7.Team SVK 1-1-1-0 5pts GF-8 GA-5
8.Team SUI 1-1-0-1 4pts GF-6 GA-6
9.Team GER 1-2-0-0 3pts GF-4 GA-6
10.Team BEL 0-3-0-0 0pts
11.Team LAT 0-3-0-0 0pts
12.Team NOR 0-3-0-0 0pts






Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

SWE vs RUS for gold
USA vs FIN for bronze

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

In disbelief. So much for hoping for gold. Regarding Canada's, oh, I'm sorry, I mean Crybaby's win, I wouldn't cheer about that either. Canada obviously struggled whether or not they actually won. They happened to win, but that doesn't change the way the game was played.

Posted by: RusCap | February 19, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse


Why are your hopes gone for gold? Anybody can win gold, even Norway.

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Slovakia, the ghost of Caps past (or, how about Caps fans "other white meat"), looked the better of the two teams out there almost all night.

Cindy was nowhere near the threat Ovechkin was in their respective games during 65 minutes of play prior to their ShootOuts, yet the fairy gets better press today.


Posted by: Political_Stratgst | February 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I stayed up til the bitter end last night but sucked it up and now in the office. Trying to be objective, the Swiss played with heart but limited skill. The Canadians definitely look beatable, Crosby was not much of a factor until he made his second attempt in the shoot-out. The Slovaks have a very impressive roster and a strong commitment to defense - they pretty much kept the Russians in "czech" (sorry) all night. Ovi came to play, but I can't say much positive about Kovi, Malkin, or Semin. Volchenkov is a shot-blocking machine. He was great on the Slovak's 5-on-3. I'd kill to have the A-train in a Caps uniform.

Posted by: zmega | February 19, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

People are overlooing that Slovakia is a good team. Look at some of their players (Gaborik, Hossa, Chara, Halak, Palffy, Demitra, Handzus). That is much better than Switzerland.

Looking at talent alone there are 7 teams that stand above all the rest, U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

Slovakia is probably #7 on that list but #7 is far better than #8 in the hockey world.

Russia just got unlucky that they got stuck in the group with 2 other top teams. Switzerland has a very good goalie and a couple nice defensemen but their forwards do not compare to those of the top 7.

I'd think every team would rather play Switzerland than Slovakia in a medal round game.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 19, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Great game by Switzerland yesterday. Very entertaining.

Has anyone seen the Canadian women run up the scores in this tournament? It is not just the players, but the *crowd* jumping up and down and cheering when the score is in the teens versus zero. What is up with that? And their coach looks like Roz from Monsters Inc. growling on the bench. When you are up 12-0, you'd think the coach would be pleased. They are the best but they need some therapy. Plus, this is the Olympics and Canada is the host -- and this is "their" game. Just weird.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

JSchon: Thanks for explanation. If it plays out how you have it, US will have a tough time with Bondra's team.

Maybe it's time to bring Bondra back to the NHL in some capacity for the Caps. I met him once in Lakeland, FL at an exhibition about 10-11 years ago. He was in the stands by himself and I happened to be wearing his jersey, so he was nice enough to sign and talk some. He was very nice and here's hoping all the best for him.

Oddest thing about that game looking back (vs Tampa) is it was one of the few times this guy named Volchkov (was #4 overall pick that we got from LA for Khristich) actually suited up for Caps. What a bust he was.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 19, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen the Canadian women run up the scores in this tournament? It is not just the players, but the *crowd* jumping up and down and cheering when the score is in the teens versus zero. What is up with that? And their coach looks like Roz from Monsters Inc. growling on the bench. When you are up 12-0, you'd think the coach would be pleased. They are the best but they need some therapy. Plus, this is the Olympics and Canada is the host -- and this is "their" game. Just weird.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 19, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure how, but goal differential is significant in the opening rounds of the hockey competitions. I'm sure that's why the coaches are trying to maintain the intensity despite what may be a lopsided score.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

@washingtonpost31 Do u want the Canadian women to get a line of old women from the khl to keep the score close...there is not a team at the Olympics not trying to score as much as they can or go as fast as they can...can us say us mens basketball team?

Posted by: wendel2 | February 19, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Strange morning on ths site........Sid wins the game for his team while Ov loses it for his yet not 1 post blaming Milbury Bettman or Cherry for it. Where are all the experts today?

Posted by: wendel2 | February 19, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

wendel, how did Ovi lose it for his team? He did make one of his shots. How about Kovy or Malkin losing it for his team?

Posted by: dfe1 | February 19, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@Wendel2 and rbpalmer

You clearly did not read my post. I said, keep scoring, we are not in Little League. The point was that the Canadians should show some class and be happy. Nobody is going to challenge the Canadian women for gold in generations. Why be so mean and grumpy? Where is the Olympic spirit and where is the Canadian ambassadorship for "their" sport? Why does the Canadian crowd collectively stand up and cheer and jeer when their team is up by 10-0 and somebody scores the 11th and the opposition is fully humiliated?

The psychoanalysis is a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality. It is more of this fanatical Cherry Canadian hockey exceptionalism. Just bizarre. England used to have it with soccer, but Germany, Italy, Brazil and Argentina have pretty much fixed it for them.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Was there a layoff for the night shift janitorial staff at the steel mill? Why are all the trolls out?

Posted by: zmega | February 19, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Awesome for the Slovaks!!!! Toobad the Swiss couldn't hang on. Sunday is a HUGE day for Team USA. USA!! USA!!!

Posted by: doughless | February 19, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@washington post sorry i guess u dont know much about womens hockey....canada has 41 -2 goals for and against in 3games US has 29-1 .The US women are a huge challenge if not the favourite. Dont confuse mean and grumpy with focussed on the huge task of the upcoming Canada -US battle for gold, Why do Caps fan cheer when they are up by 5 goals against anyone?
Beacuse they want their team to with. Since when is cheering a bad thing? should we not keep score and just play for the fun of it? Get real!!!!

Posted by: wendel2 | February 19, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Watching the Swiss v. Canadian shootout last night, I wasn't surprised that Canada pulled it out at the end. The Swiss had some of the worst penalty shooters I have ever seen. It was as if they were completely stopping a foot from Brodeur before taking a shot. There was hardly any puck movement before the shot was taken. Marty was not going to be fooled at all especially with the way he played in the third period.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | February 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

it was sweet to see the Canadian fans sweating bullets. here is hoping Team USA brings the A game on Sunday

Posted by: doughless | February 19, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

MyPost: I posted last night that the Swiss in the shottout were about as effective as Jimmy Carter trying to get something done.

I guess you are agreeing.

Posted by: tominfl1 | February 19, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@washingtonpost31 - Personally, since Team USA (Womens' hockey) has at least one game where they took the third frame off and put on a passing clinic instead of putting shots on goal ("It's not about running up the score. It's about treating your opponent with respect and still working on what we need to be successful." -Jenny Potter, who holds an Olympic record for two hat tricks in two games), I'd say that they will be giving the Canadian women a run for their money when they face one another.

Potter is not the only goal scorer on the US Womens' team, either; with the Lamoureaux twins, Meghan Duggan, and several others, Team USA poses a threat to Team Canada that no other team does.

I would submit that the goal differential between Team USA and Team Canada is largely courtesy of the mercy Team USA showed to Team China in the third frame, when they put only two shots on net (and China's hapless goalkeeper saved only one of them).

USA netminder Jessie Vetter has started two of the team's three games these Olympics, and finished both with a shutout. I'm not sure what the record is, but I watched Vetter last year in the collegiate finals, and she's awesome.

U!S!A!!! U!S!A!!!

Posted by: irockthered | February 19, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I can remember the last time I was hapless.

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse


Thanks, that was a helpful post. Glad to learn that team USA showed some class.

Posted by: washingtonpost31 | February 19, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Which GM is our GMGM speaking to right now......hmmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: PhilR | February 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

We all know that we have the Doofus Brigade, for most trolls and stupid people who visit this bog...I say that we create a new category for the olympics...the Silly Nannies?

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | February 19, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@jschon, others good analysis, interesting...

Russia really is in the group of death - they don't win on Sunday they're out of the tournament. They have not looked very good yet, and neither did Canada look good - both teams seem tight. I thought both Ovie and Crosby were superb, but Thornton the most impressive player so far. Slovakia is legit, they've got two very dangerous lines and Chara, arguably the best defenseman in the tournament. And the Czechs can beat the Russians although I'll be rooting hard for the Russians. It looks like both the Czechs and the Slovaks will be trying to run the score up on Latvia in case of a tiebreaker (I think the overall score trumps head-to-head, but I'm not sure).

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 19, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I've lost track - do the Russians play the Czechs on Sunday? Do we know what time?

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | February 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse


No one is out of the tournament, even Norway, Latvia and Belarus. All 12 teams advance to the next round. Pool play is for seeding. Top 4 teams from any group get byes and the remaining 8 teams play (5v12, 6v11, 7v10, 8v9) to figure out the rest of the quarterfinals.

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Canada is really missing Mike Green...

Posted by: SA-Town | February 19, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who wants the NHL back? I know the Olympics are supposed to be the greatest thing ever and mean so much, but I want to see the Caps back in action! Sorry.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 19, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Completely with you kcbrichmond...I am having Cap withdrawals...the Olympic action is soooooo boring compared to watching our exciting, high powered team on the ice!

Posted by: PhilR | February 19, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

A "troll" for rooting against Russia? HellooOOOooo? Two Penguins, Malkin and Gonchar, are centerpieces of the Russian team and powerplay. The Olympics are great hockey to watch, period. The Switzerland-Canada game last night was incredible, from the goaltending on down. Personally, I'm rooting for Jags and the Czechs to put the nail in the coffin of the Russians Sunday. Word is the KHL defenseman on the Russian team don't have the talent for these games. (What's your take on that, Tarik?) In the end, I'm pulling for Ryan Miller, Ryan Malone, Ryan Whitney... and even people not named Ryan on Team USA.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | February 19, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

No nails are going to be nailed into any coffins this weekend by any teams. ALL12 TEAMS MAKE IT TO THE NEXT ROUND. The Czechs could beat Russia 57 to -3 and Russia can still win the gold.

Backstrom with an assist.

Posted by: JSchon | February 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'd kill to have the A-train in a Caps uniform.

Posted by: zmega | February 19, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse



Our PK and team defense would instantly get way better. And guess who's a free agent this summer? Gotta sign Backstrom first, but if Ovi and Semin can convince the Bear to come to DC to win the Cup... I know I'm dreaming, but it's a nice dream.

Posted by: butcherbaker | February 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Is anybody else watching the Sweden game right now?

Backstrom was the best forward on the ice. He easily could have had 3 assists but I think just ended up with 1.

He made a number of brilliant plays in one sequence at the end of a penalty kill. First, he robbed the puck from a Belarus player than fed Zetterberg up for a breakaway. Shortly after, he set up 2 prime scoring chances for I believe Alfredsson and someone else.

Lock up Backstrom for at least a decade, McPhee. Gitterdone!

Posted by: tmac2yao | February 19, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The Russian coach made a few errors last night. First, leaving Malkin as the PP center after his horrible performances on the first few PP's. Second, putting 2 defensemen on in the PP mid-3rd period. He should have put Ovie, Semin, Kovalchuk, Gonchar, and either Datsyuk or Federov. Third, putting Ovie on the shootout 3 times. Once, absolutely he should have done. Twice - that was pushing it. Three times - why? He skipped Semin, Kozlov, and Federov - all of whom have are better on the shootout than Ovie.

But regardless of this game or what happens next game, I still think the Russians are a favorite to medal, and will quite likely be in the gold medal game - I would expect against Sweden.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 19, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"He skipped Semin, Kozlov, and Federov - all of whom have are better on the shootout than Ovie."


Posted by: butcherbaker | February 19, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

the best thing for team Russia is to copy the style that is so successful for the Capitals first line.

We have OV-Backstrom-KBus

OV is replaced with OV :)

Backstrom can be emulated by Datsyuk.

But Semin does not play like the net crashing KBus, Russia should have taken Artyukhin from the Ducks to specifically fill this role. Since its too late for that, maybe Kozlov or Radulov can play the part.

Posted by: OVIwankanOVI | February 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

the only thing that really matters is Lord Stanley's Cup. If Ovie (or anyone else) thinks otherwise, he/she needs to get their priorities straight.

Posted by: doughless | February 19, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Two different aspects of the game, doughless, and therefore equally important.

Posted by: OvechkinFan92801 | February 19, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

doughless, the Stanley Cup only represents the championship of a single league, out of dozens. Yes, it is the biggest and most prestigious league, but it is still only 1 league. The Olympics and the World Championships are much bigger for most players. So I cannot blame Ovie or any other player for being more concerned with the Olympics.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 19, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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