Coach Mike Babcock claimed that in order to beat the Russians, Ryan Getzlaf, Dan Boyle, Corey Perry, and Chris Pronger needed to be more productive. Those players responded by contributing nine points in Canada’s 7-3 victory against Russia to advance to the semi-final round.
Getzlaf opened the scoring just over two minutes into the first period by converting Boyle’s pass into a nearly empty net. Boyle would later get his own goal with a wrist shot from just over the blue line that blew by goalie Evgeni Nabokov, giving Canada a 2-0 lead.
Canada’s newly formed shut down line of Rick Nash, Jonathan Toews, and Mike Richards did their job by showing no mercy to Russia’s top forward lines.
The line even produced a goal by using good hard defensive tactics. After Richards stripped Russia’s Evgeni Malkin of the puck, he moved it up to Toews who saw Nash just over the hash marks and fed him a pass that he beat Nabokov with to give Canada a 3-0 lead.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo confirmed he is the right man to be between the pipes for Canada by stopping 25 shots by the powerful Russian offense.
Dmitri Kalinin brought the score back within reach for Russia with a shot from the point that found its way past a screened Luongo.
Brendan Morrow grinded his way to a goal that slipped past Nabokov to give Canada the 4-1 lead going into the second period. Shea Weber scored the final goal on Nabokov before he was pulled after ripping a shot passed him just over a minute after Perry’s first goal.
Perry proved his worth after a disastrous game against U.S.A. by scoring two goals, both of which were assisted on by Getzlaf. Perry second goal was the only tally on Russian goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 18 shots after relieving Nabokov.
Nabokov did not fare well in the match, getting pulled early in the second period after allowing six goals on 23 shots.
Russia also got goals from Maxim Afinogenov and Sergei Gonchar, but it was not nearly enough to get passed the determined Canadian squad. The Russians received a scare in the third period when Alexander Ovechkin took a puck off the hand and immediately headed to the bench to ice it off.
The ruthless Canadian crowd serenaded him by chanting his name while Ovechkin iced his injured hand. In a game that was headlined with Ovechkin and Crosby, neither of the two superstars tallied any points in the contest.
An upset Russian squad showed their frustration towards the end of the game by increasing the aggressiveness of their play. Eric Staal went hard into the boards after an Anton Volchencov check that kept Staal on the ice for a short time. He eventually skated back to the bench with the trainer, but did not miss any ice time.
Team Canada will now soak in the victory and face the winner of the Sweden and Slovakia match on Friday.