Alexander Ovechkin did it all tonight, but most of all, he won the game for Russia with six seconds on the clock, beating Henrik Lundqvist, and making it 3-2 for Russia.
Sweden got an early lead just seven seconds after Dmitri Vorobiev’s penalty ended, on an extended powerplay play when Tony Mårtensson found Matias Weinhandl open in the slot. Weinhandl turned and banged a wrist shot past Yevgeni Nabokov, in the battle of the Vezina candidates.
The intensity of the game didn’t go down after Douglas Murray checked Alexei Morozov out of the game after just ten minutes of play. Murray received a game misconduct for the hit, as did Sweden’s Anton Strålman and Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk for a fight that ensued.
“I thought it was a clean hit, I hit him on the chest and shoulder area,” said Douglas Murray who will now face an automatic one-game suspension.
“We’re all men, and hockey is a tough game. You have to be ready. Anything can happen. You’re battling to be first in the group. I think it’ll be even tougher in the elimination games, because everybody will be hitting,” said Alexander Radulov.
With Niclas Wallin suspended and Kenny Jönsson out of the lineup due to back problems, Sweden had only four defencemen for the remaining 50 minutes. Forward Johan Andersson took a step down later in the game, having only one game as a defenceman under his belt, five years ago, in the Swedish second division.
That gave Russia the keys to the game, but instead of capitalizing on Murray’s five-minute penalty, Alexander Ovechkin and Maxim Afinogenov were sent to the penalty box, and the Russian powerplay dried up. Instead, two Russian penalties at the end of the period gave the Swedes a 5-on-3 powerplay to start the second period with. Back on the ice, Ovechkin drew another penalty, his third of the night. Again, Sweden had 5-on-3 powerplay.
The second period was calmer, and the game returned to its original script: Russia attacked, Sweden was waiting for the Russian forwards in the neutral zone, waiting for a chance to strike back.
“I think we stuck to the game plan well tonight, and played as a team, as we were supposed to,” said Lundqvist.
At 32:14, Russia got its chance. Alexander Syomin delivered the puck to Ovechkin. Lundqvist got a piece of the shot, but dropped the puck and Syomin was there to tip it in.
In the last minute, Sweden struck: Jonas Frögren’s shot from the blueline bounced to the front of the net where Mårtensson was waiting to lift it in for 2-1.
In the first shift of the third period, Swedish acting captain Nicklas Bäckström tripped his Capitals linemate Ovechkin, giving Russia a chance to tie the game on powerplay but Syomin’s shot in the post was the closest they got to beating Lundqvist.
That goal did come, a few minutes later, at 44.57, when Sergei Fyodorov grabbed Danis Zaripov’s rebound, and dumped it behind Lundqvist.
Sweden seemed to be able to push back the Russians, until their big guns hit. Alexander Ovechkin got the winner, driving frustrated and disappointed Lundqvist to break his stick on the crossbar.
Russian goalie Yevgeni Nabokov was happy to be at the World Championship.
“I heard the fans cheering. It was a great atmosphere today,” he said.
“Ovechkin, Syomin, and Sergei (Fyodorov) are our leaders. They are the backbone of our team, and I think they even have to be better, if it’s possible. I don’t know if it’s possible. But “Ovie” was the best player for about seven months! So I think he’s kind of used to it.”
05:08 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Vorobiev, holding
07:15 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Weinhandl (Mårtensson, Ledin)
10:02 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Strålman, roughing + game misconduct
10:02 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kovalchuk, roughing + game misconduct
10:02 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Murray, match penalty
10:37 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Ovechkin, slashing
10:37 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Fernholm, roughing
12:19 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Afinogenov, slashing
18:39 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Ovechkin, tripping
20:00 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Zinoviev, cross checking
21:06 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Ovechkin, delay of game
32:14 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Syomin (Ovechkin)
34:00 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Johansson, hooking
39:10 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Mårtensson (Frögren)
40:27 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Bäckström, hooking
44:57 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Fyodorov (Zaripov)
47:11 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Sushinski, interference
59:54 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Ovechkin (Syomin, Grebeshkov)
59:54 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Lundqvist, 10 min. misconduct
W: 🇷🇺 Nabokov (28-30)
L: 🇸🇪 Lundqvist (39-42)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇷🇺 15+12+15 = 42
🇸🇪 8+17+5 = 30
🇷🇺 Goaltenders: Mikhail Biryukov, Yevgeni Nabokov. Defence: Denis Grebeshkov, Dmitri Kalinin, Konstantin Korneyev, Andrei Markov, Danil Markov, Ilya Nikulin, Fyodor Tyutin, Dmitri Vorobiev. Forwards: Maxim Afinogenov, Sergei Fyodorov, Konstantin Gorovikov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexei Morozov, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, Alexander Syomin, Maxim Sushinski, Alexei Tereshchenko, Danis Zaripov, Sergei Zinoviev.
🇸🇪 Goaltenders: Stefan Liv, Henrik Lundqvist. Defence: Alexander Edler, Daniel Fernholm, Jonas Frögren, Magnus Johansson, Douglas Murray, Anton Strålman. Forwards: Johan Andersson, Nicklas Bäckström, Nils Ekman, Karl Fabricius, Michael Holmqvist, Patric Hörnqvist, Per Ledin, Tony Mårtensson, Marcus Nilson, Robert Nilsson, Rickard Wallin, Fredrik Warg, Mattias Weinhandl, Daniel Widing.
|🇷🇺 RUSSIA (C)||vs.||SWEDEN 🇸🇪|
(since 28 Apr 2008)
||25 Apr 2007|
(+ 9 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. SWE)
🇷🇺 URS 3-0 SWE 🇸🇪 – 26 Dec 1954 – EX – Stockholm 🇸🇪
|Previous IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. SWE)
🇸🇪 SWE 4-2 RUS 🇷🇺 – 21 Apr 2007 – EHT – Moscow 🇷🇺
|Last IHLC Game
🇷🇺 RUS 4-3 BLR 🇧🇾 (SO) – 09 May 2008 – WC – Québec 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇷🇺 RUS 5-3 SUI 🇨🇭 – 12 May 2008 – WC – Québec 🇨🇦