Russia showed why its a favourite to win the gold this Olympics with a dominating 8-2 victory over Latvia on Tuesday night.
The win was led by Alexander Ovechkin, who scored two goals, and Ilya Kovalchuk, who added a goal and assisted on one as well.
Both of Ovechkin’s goals were scored in similar fashion with a one-timer from the middle of the zone, where he has been notorious to score from since he entered the NHL.
Three of Russia’s goals were scored in a flurry during the first period, getting the first one just over two minutes in.
The team put the doubts of team depth to bed by getting its first two goals from Danis Zaripov, who would score another later in the game, and Alexander Radulov, both players from the Kontinental Hockey League half of the team.
Latvia was able to squeak two goals past Russian goaltender Evgeni Nabokov thanks to efforts by Herberts Vaseiljevs and Girts Ankipans.
Although controlling the majority of the game, there was an extended period in the second frame where Russia appeared sluggish as they saw Latvia not only get their first goal of the game but also have a number of opportunities.
Despite allowing two goals on 20 shots, Nabokov did not get very much action.
One flaw on Russia’s play in the game was its power play, one that scored once on eight opportunities, but its penalty kill stopped Latvia on all five of their power play chances.
Russia’s next game will be against Slovakia on Thursday and Latvia will play again next on Friday against the Czech Republic