Monday night, Team Russia took on forever rival Team Canada in both clubs’ opening game for the 2017 World Junior Championship. Canada would defeat Russia 5-3. Caps top goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov made 32 saves in the loss.
The most memorable part of the game however was what Russia wore onto the ice.
For 59:27, Sweden held Team Russia scoreless. Then in the final minute, Alex Ovechkin happened.
Ovechkin scored on a shot through a maze of players with 33 seconds remaining and then appeared to strike again with seven seconds left. However, that game-tying goal was waved off after video review.
Sweden held on to win 2-1.
Alex Ovechkin just scored in Pittsburgh. The Team Russia captain blasted a classic one-timer from his office past Canadian goaltender Carey Price. The power play goal came on a two-man advantage and tied the game up at one at the 3:40 mark of the third period. The goal was Ovechkin’s first point in three pre-tournament games for Russia.
Yes, he was heavily booed.
Thursday, Team Russia hosted the Czech Republic at St. Petersberg’s Yubileyny Arena. It was the first time the Caps troika of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov had played an organized game since winning a bronze medal in the 2016 World Championship on May 22.
After falling behind early, Russia took a commanding lead before needing a ridiculous split save from Sergei Bobrovski in the final minute to hold onto the 4-3 win. Dmitry Orlov tallied a secondary assist while Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov went scoreless.
Washington Capitals teammates Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov return to the ice at 12:30pm today, as Russia takes on the Czech Republic for their first World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game.
Beforehand, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov continued their Caps pre-game tradition of playing a round of sewer ball. The Russian national team Twitter account has your photos.
While all of us were asleep, Team Russia named Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin as their captain for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Ovechkin has previously served as kapitan for the Capitals, Dynamo Moscow, and the Russian national team. Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk were named the alternates.
“It’s an honour for me to be the team’s captain for such a big competition,” Ovechkin said to the media. “The coach simply came up to me and told me that I am going to be captain. We’re looking forward to the game with the Czech Republic as to get some game practice under our belts, and during these friendlies, we will get into playing shape.”
Monday, Team Russia held their first official practice for the World Cup of Hockey and I’ve got some great news. Washington Capitals brothers from another mother Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin have been paired together on the first line along with Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov.
Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov is also on Russia’s first defense pairing.
Photo: Russian Hockey Federation
Friday afternoon, Washington Capitals Russians Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov arrived safely in Moscow, home of the 2016 World Championship. Dressed from head to toe in nationalistic Team Russia gear, each Capital met with the media and talked about their disappointing finish to their NHL season.
“We are going to try to make up for the unfortunate showing in the NHL by winning the tournament and showing good hockey,” Alex Ovechkin said as translated by Igor Kleyner. “Of course it’s disappointing. But we’ll think about it later. Right now al the thoughts are about the Worlds. We will do everything to win.”
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