The United States defeated Russia 3-2 after a eight-round shootout on Saturday. Here are five things we learned:
• T.J. Oshie fulfilled his duties. Oshie’s certainly a good enough player to have warranted consideration on the U.S. roster, but it was his shootout ability that gave him an edge. Currently 7-for-10 in the NHL this season and 25-for-46 (54.3-percent) all-time, it’s no surprise Dan Bylsma channeled his inner Herb Brooks and kept telling Oshie, “AGAIN!” during the shootout. He ended up going 4-for-6. "I was glad it ended when it did. I was running out of moves,” he said afterward.
• Pavel Datsyuk is incredibly awesome when he’s injured. There was concern entering the tournament that the Russian captain may have to withdraw due to a lower-body injury. He chose to stay in, and against the U.S. on Saturday he didn't look injured at all. He looked dangerous. He scored both Russian goals in regulation, threatened to win the game in overtime after a great defensive play shorthanded and even put one home during the seven-round shootout.
• Russia's disallowed goal against IIHF rules, not NHL. IIHF Rule 471.5 states no goal shall be allowed: "If the goal net has been displaced from its normal position, or the frame of the goal net is not completely flat on the ice." But Jonathan Quick's move didn't fool one of his Los Angeles Kings teammates. Said Russian defenseman Slava Voynov afterward, via our own Dmitry Chesnokov, "I can tell you myself, because I am his teammate and I play with him. It is in his style to do something like that."
• Alex Radulov might want to hide. Two penalties for Radulov. Two power play goals for the U.S. It wasn't the former Nashville Predators best day and Russia head coach Zinetula Bilyaledinov even said that Radulov will be watching Sunday's game against Slovakia from somewhere other than the Russian bench. "We expected more of Radulov. He didn't live up to our expectations."
• Two wins, still much to play for. The IIHF Olympic point system awards three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime/shootout win and one for an overtime/shootout loss. If Slovenia happens to upset the U.S. in regulation on Sunday and Russia defeats Slovakia, then the U.S. would sit third in Group A. If the U.S. win, they will earn a bye to the quarterfinal. Depending on how Canada, Sweden and Finland finish the tournament, the No. 1 overall seed is still up for grabs.
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