Today Team Russia defeated Team USA 2-1 to earn their second win of 2013 WJC tournament.
Albert Yarullin scored on a power play in the first period to put Russia up 1-0 early on. In turn, the Americans tied it up on a power play of their own with a goal from defenseman Jacob Trouba. In the third period, Valeri Nichushkin led an end-to-end rush which resulted in a Vladimir Tkachyov goal.
With less than two minutes left in regulation, Russian forward Kirill Kapustin was penalized for checking from behind. He received a minor penalty, plus 10 minute misconduct. This time the Russian PK was effective and Tkachyov’s goal stood as the game-winner.
Goaltending in this game was impressive, especially Russian goalie Andrei Makarov, who made 41 saves and earned the win. John Gibson stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Americans.
Once again, Russian Captain Nail Yakupov and linemate Alexander Khokhlachev were, for the most part, non-existent in this game. It seems odd to me because both are above average players and have had obvious chemistry in previous WJC tournaments. However, I refuse to fret over it until Russia’s “second,” and best offensive line of Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Anton Slepyshev begin to show signs of ineffectiveness. (Unlikely.)
In an overly simplistic and rudimentary form, the story of the game for both teams can be relayed as such: Goaltending = Good. Power Play = Good. Penalty Kill = Mostly Bad. But in all seriousness, it was a good game between two good teams that were both in it until the end.
Russia still sits in second place in Pool B with five points. Canada remains in first with six and Team USA rounds out the top three with three points. Russia plays Germany, who has already been sounded defeated by both Canada and the USA tomorrow.