The line on Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin goes a little like this: he must win gold or it’s all been a failure.
And yet all we’ve been hearing the last few days is how content Ovi is with the pressure and how excited he is to play. He finally put deed to word on Thursday, scoring on his very first shift of the tournament.
One minute and seventeen seconds into the game, Evgeni Malkin hit Ovechkin with a pass on a two-on-one break. Ovechkin curled the puck and wristed it glove side past Slovenian goalie Robert Kristan.
Ovi’s celebration was notable. He fell over– ungracefully– and did his best imitation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
And look how happy Semin is.
A minute and a half later, Ovechkin returned the favor to Malkin, hitting him with a beautiful bump pass, springing a semi-breakaway. Malkin scored to put the Russians up 2-0.
Despite a sloppy second period, Team Russia held on to win 5-2.
All in all, Ovechkin had a good day. Skating with Malkin and Semin on the first line, he had four shots to go along with his two points in 17:24 of ice time. He had a plus-two rating if that matters to you.
Russia next plays the United States at 7:30 on Saturday morning.