Russia advances, 4-1
Russia advances, 4-1
Greiss can’t stop everything in German goal
Vadim Shipachyov had two goals and an assist for the winners.
Although undermanned Germany led 1-0 after the first period, the Russians quickly erased that deficit with three goals in the second en route to victory.
They’ll now face Finland in one semi-finals in Moscow while the rarest semi-finals of them all—Canada-United States—will be the other pairing.
Interestingly, Russia was the only team from Group A (playing the Preliminary Round in Moscow) to advance to the semis.
Germany finishes seventh, its best result since 2011, despite playing Russia with only 18 skaters, two fewer than the standard 20. Coach Marco Sturm was forced to go with eleven forwards and seven defencemen because of injuries.
Tonight's game in Moscow could not have started more unpredictably. The first solid attack by the Germans four minutes into the opening period resulted in a brief flurry—and a goal.
Sergei Bobrovski made a nice pad save to his right, then made a great pad save off Patrick Hager with his left pad, but a third shot from Patrick Reimer fooled the goalie and a weak shot floated over Bobrovski’s glove at 4:45, silencing the crowd and serving notice the underdog Germans were not going down without a fight.
"We were a bit anxious at the start," admitted Russian defenceman Alexei Yemelin. "We didn't take control of our zone and that caused the mistake that led to their goal."
They spent the rest of the period protecting the lead, a tactic that could not possibly last for the balance of the game. The only power play came to the Russians and Greiss made one sensational save off a Vadim Shipachyov shot to maintain the lead.
But on the first shift of the second, Greiss overplayed a shot and the puck came out to Shipachyov. He fired into a gaping goal at 0:40 to tie the game.
"In the intermission, the coach wasn't impressed," Yemelin noted. "We looked at what went wrong, talked about how to put it right, and went out for the second period in a different mood."
Captain Pavel Datsyuk agreed. "In the first period we wanted to to score right away and got hit on the break. In the second, we calmed down a bit and played with more discipline."
Russia continued to whirl around the Germans and took a 2-1 lead at 7:17 Shipachyov made a nice pass from the corner to the slot, and Yevgeni Dadonov outmuscled defenceman Denis Ruel, getting a stick on the puck which eluded Greiss and trickled in.
Greiss was surely the only reason the hosts didn’t reach double digits. On one power play midway through the second he robbed Alexander Ovechkin with a pad save. Moments later, he whipped the glove out to rob Datsyuk from the other side.
Still, Shipachyov combined with Ivan Telegin on a pretty give-and-go for the third goal at 14:14 to give the team a little breathing room.
"The main thing is that I put up the pass and Vadim scored it," Telegin offered of his beautiful set-up of Shipachyov, who now has 16 points to lead all scorers this year.
Ovechkin, snakebitten in four games since arriving after the Stanley Cup playoffs, finally got one, beating Greiss through the pads at 2:45 of the final period.
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