ST LOUIS – With so much firepower on the host country’s men’s hockey squad, it was possible St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko might not see much action. As it turns out, he saw plenty of action, but did not contribute on the scoresheet during Russia’s 5-2 victory over Slovenia in the two team’ opening game of the 2014 Winter Olympic hockey match.
Propelled by two early goals from Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in the game’s first four minutes, the Russians controlled the entire match despite allowing Slovenia to get within one goal twice in the second period. Ilya Kovalchuk had the game-winner and Russia put the game out of reach midway through the third period with goals from Valeri Nichhuskin and Anton Belov.
In his first Olympic game, Vladimir Tarasenko had no points, 1 shot and an even rating. He played 14:46 of game time on 19 shifts averaging 0:46 second per shift.
Russia now faces the United States in their second game on Saturday, February 15th at 7:30 AM ET on CBC, NBCSN. The Russians then battle Slovakia to close out the preliminary round on Sunday, February 16th at 7:30 AM ET on USA Network.
As for the rest of the Blues, I will be providing previews and updates throughout the tournament. The United States will be represented by center David Backes, right wing T.J. Oshie and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Canada will be represented by defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. Sweden will be represented by left wing Alexander Steen and center Patrik Berglund. Slovakia will be represented by goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
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