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Alex Ovechkin arrived at Team Russia’s hotel in Prague less than 24 hours after his Washington Capitals were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 against the Rangers. He practiced for about a half hour in the day before their semifinal game against the U.S., ready to jump into a new tournament with little prep.
So naturally, he scored a back-breaking goal against the Americans, helping to lead Russia to a 4-0 win and earning them a game against Canada in the IIHF World Championship final, where they’ve won four of the last seven titles.
Oh, yeah, make that against Sidney Crosby and the Canadians.
Russia scored four third-period goals against the U.S., who will face the Czechs in the bronze medal game. The U.S won bronze in 2013, but hasn’t won gold in the tournament since 1933.
The young U.S. team, including expected second-overall NHL Draft pick Jack Eichel, played well through two periods, but couldn’t put away a Russian team populated with names like Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Bobrovsky and, of course, Ovechkin.
Said Viktor Tikhonov on the arrival of the Capitals’ captain: "We we're lucky he came to our team and I got even luckier I got to play on his line, it's always fun."
Said Ovechkin, who also had an assist, on his busy week: "It was kind of hard but it is what it is.”
The bronze medal game and gold medal games are scheduled for Sunday. The gold medal game is at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, which means it would be up against Game 1 of the Ducks and Blackhawks on NBC.
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