Team Russia walloped Switzerland in the opening game of the 2014 World Championships in Minsk today. The fabled Russian offense, mostly inert in Sochi, delivered five goals while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky turned away all 27 shots he faced from the Swiss.
Newly named captain, Alex Ovechkin, also scored a goal and tallied an assist in the beatdown.
Ovechkin, who led all forwards in ice time (21:16), scored just twelve seconds into a first period power play. Team Russia defensemen Anton Belov did what John Carlson did so many times during the Caps regular season, and hit Ovechkin with a perfect pass into his wheelhouse. Ovechkin, at the point, blasted a one-timer past Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni to put Russia up 2-0.
Ovechkin with the steal (defense!)
Later in the third period, Ovi assisted on a goal by Danis Zaripov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk) to close out the scoring.
Ovechkin finished with a plus-minus score that had a plus in front of it and also almost checked defenseman Denis Blum into the Switzerland bench.
He also almost tallied assist number two on this beauty of a pass.
Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov appeared to get a goal in the first period on a deflection off a long shot. After the puck went into the net, Kuznetsov bent to one knee and celebrated as if he scored. However, the goal was later changed to Vadim Shipachyov.
Dmitry Orlov wore number 23 and skated 15:29, second most among Russia’s eight defensemen who dressed.
Bobrovsky, last year’s Vezina trophy winner, was named player of the game.
Russia won’t play again until Sunday, when they’ll face Finland. Monday they’ll take on Team USA in a rematch of their 3-2 loss in Sochi.
Photo: Andre Ringuette