Team USA faced off against Russia in the most highly-anticipated preliminary round matchup of the Sochi Olympics thus far and, boy, it did not disappoint. Here’s a full GIF recap:
After a scoreless first period, Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring when he took a long pass and sliced through the Americans’ defense before unleashing a beautiful shot just inside the post behind Jonathan Quick.
You certainly couldn’t blame Team USA for not giving up the body on the defensive end. Ryan McDonaugh and Ryan Kesler held their ground in front of some pretty heavy shots.
Kesler had to get some repairs after taking that Malkin shot in the hand, but a taped up hand wasn’t keeping him off the ice.
An inexplicable Alexander Radulov penalty in the second period paved the way for Team USA’s first goal. With the puck no where near him, Radulov went after Dustin Brown, drawing an easy interference call.
Cam Fowler was able to get the Americans on the board and net the equalizer on the ensuing power play despite whiffing on a chance in front. The puck caromed off of the defenseman’s skate and in for the 1-1 tie.
Early in the third period, Quick denied a great go-ahead chance off the stick of Evgeni Malkin with this brilliant stop:
Then, the Americans were able to take a 2-1 lead when Patrick Kane delivered an absolutely perfect pass that sliced through Russia’s defense and straight to the stick of Joe Pavelski, who finished the job.
That beautiful goal was countered by Pavel Datsyuk, who netted his second goal of the day when he was able to catch Quick offguard on a power play. Quick attempted to peek around a netfront screen and Datsyuk capitalized by sneaking the game-tying goal underneath his pads.
That’s when things proceeded to get VERY interesting. Russia appeared to take a 3-2 lead when Fedor Tyutin snuck a point shot past Quick and underneath the crossbar.
However, a review revealed that Quick had knocked the left post ever so slightly off its moorings on a pad slide prior to the goal. Thus, the goal was nullified and the game headed to overtime.
Patrick Kane had a couple great opportunities to seal the win for Team USA in OT, starting with this clean breakaway against Sergei Bobrovsky.
Then, a few minutes later he had another chance on an offensive rush but that was also denied by Bob.
So, we then headed to a shootout and…well…you should probably just watch that for yourself because, man, it was EPIC.
Almost as epic as Peter Laviolette’s fist pump on the USA bench after Oshie sealed the deal on his fourth shootout goal, the final exclamation point on one of the most exciting games in US hockey history.