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Russia's path to quarterfinals goes through Norway

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Russia's path to quarterfinals goes through Norway
Norway vs. Russia

NORWAY vs. RUSSIA

When: Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN, CBC)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: The heat is on for Russia, the host country of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, to win four straight games and win the gold medal. Despite a 1-0 shootout victory against Slovakia on Sunday, the Russians had to settle for the fifth seed and play-in game against Norway.

"Overall we've played well. Everybody wants to beat Russia at home," forward Alex Ovechkin said. "It's the Olympic Games; nobody wants to make mistakes. We take what we take, and we're going to play in the future."

Unlike Russia, little was expected from Norway, which finished the preliminary round as the No. 12 seed and will enter the game a loose bunch with everything to gain following a 3-1 loss to Austria on Sunday that cost it the No. 9 seed and a matchup with No. 8 Slovenia.

"Obviously, we're going to be meeting better opponents," Norway captain Ole-Kristian Tollefsen said. "It was a big carrot for us in this game to meet Slovenia in the next game, but we couldn't pull the effort off. We just didn't play good enough."

Norway: A win against Russia would give Norway its first Olympic victory since hosting the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. The Norwegians only managed one goal against Austria despite firing 35 shots on goalie Mathias Lange, including 17 in the first period, when they failed to score on a 72-second 5-on-3 power play late in the period.

"We have to get some goals," Tollefsen said. "Our PK has to get better. Our PP has to get better. There's a lot of stuff to work on."

Russia: It's gold or bust for the Russians, who in consecutive games played nail-biters against the United States (a 3-2 shootout loss) and Slovakia. If the Russians are looking for reason for optimism after the disappointing fifth seed, they can look back to the Vancouver Games four years ago, when Canada lost to the U.S. in the preliminary round before winning its next four do-or-die games en route to the gold medal.

"That's every game here. It's very intense," forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. "Even if you play against Slovenia or the USA, or [Sunday] against Slovakia, it doesn't matter. We couldn't find a way how to score, but we found a way to win."

Besides having to work extra hard, Russia is focusing on improving an offense that's scored seven goals in three games and has gone 2-for-13 on the power play.

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in goal for Russia. Bobrovsky made 31 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States on Saturday.

What's next: The winner plays Finland in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

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Norway
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
21 M. Ask 6'1" 201 5/14/1980 Oslo, NOR
20 A. Bastiansen 6'3" 205 10/31/1980 Oslo, NOR
29 R. Dahlstrøm 6'0" 207 1/29/1988 Oslo, NOR
26 K. Forsberg 6'1" 203 5/5/1986 Oslo, NOR
8 M. Hansen 6'1" 194 9/16/1978 Trondheim, NOR
43 F. Lystad Jacobsen 5'11" 190 2/15/1990 Asker, NOR
13 S. Olden 6'4" 194 8/29/1992 Oslo, NOR
40 K. Andre Olimb 5'10" 176 1/21/1989 Oslo, NOR
46 M. Olimb 5'10" 183 2/1/1986 Oslo, NOR
51 M. Rosseli Olsen 5'11" 183 4/29/1991 Oslo, NOR
28 N. Roest 5'9" 176 8/3/1986 Oslo, NOR
22 M. Røymark 6'0" 190 11/10/1986 Oslo, NOR
19 P. Skrøder 5'11" 203 8/4/1978 Sarpsborg, NOR
41 P. Thoresen 5'11" 185 11/7/1983 Hamar, NOR
36 M. Zuccarello NYR 5'7" 179 9/1/1987 Oslo, NOR
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
47 A. Bonsaksen 5'11" 183 1/24/1987 Oslo, NOR
6 J. Holøs 5'11" 203 8/27/1987 Sarpsborg, NOR
39 H. Solberg 6'3" 220 4/15/1987 Trondheim, NOR
4 D. Sørvik 6'0" 183 3/11/1990 Oslo, NOR
55 O. Tollefsen 6'2" 209 6/6/1984 Oslo, NOR
23 M. Trygg 5'10" 187 6/1/1976 Oslo, NOR
42 H. Ødegaard 5'10" 187 2/12/1988 Asker, NOR
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
30 L. Haugen 6'0" 183 3/19/1987 Oslo, NOR
70 S. Søberg 5'11" 176 8/6/1993 Oslo, NOR
34 L. Volden 6'3" 201 7/26/1992 Oslo, NOR
Russia
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
42 A. Anisimov CBJ 6'4" 198 5/24/1988 Yaroslavl, RUS
13 P. Datsyuk DET 5'11" 198 7/20/1978 Sverdlovsk, RUS
71 I. Kovalchuk 6'3" 230 4/15/1983 Tver, RUS
41 N. Kulemin TOR 6'1" 225 7/14/1986 Magnitogorsk, RUS
11 E. Malkin PIT 6'3" 195 7/31/1986 Magnitogorsk, RUS
43 V. Nichushkin DAL 6'4" 205 3/4/1995 Chelyabinsk, RUS
8 A. Ovechkin WSH 6'3" 230 9/17/1985 Moscow, RUS
24 A. Popov 5'10" 181 8/31/1980 Angarsk, RUS
47 A. Radulov 6'1" 200 7/5/1986 Nizhny Tagil, RUS
28 A. Semin CAR 6'2" 209 3/3/1984 Krasnojarsk, RUS
15 A. Svitov 6'4" 234 11/3/1982 Omsk, RUS
91 V. Tarasenko STL 6'0" 219 12/13/1991 Yaroslavl, RUS
27 A. Tereschenko 5'11" 176 12/16/1980 Moznajsk, RUS
10 V. Tikhonov 6'2" 189 5/12/1988 Riga, LAT
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
77 A. Belov EDM 6'4" 218 7/29/1986 Ryazan, RUS
26 S. Voynov LAK 6'0" 194 1/15/1990 Chelyabinsk, RUS
74 A. Emelin MTL 6'2" 224" 4/25/1986 Togliatti, RUS
79 A. Markov MTL 6'0" 201 12/20/1978 Voskresensk, RUS
82 Y. Medvedev 6'3" 198 8/27/1982 Chelyabinsk, RUS
6 N. Nikitin CBJ 6'4" 223 6/16/1986 Omsk, RUS
5 I. Nikulin 6'3" 216 3/12/192 Moscow, RUS
51 F. Tyutin CBJ 6'2" 212 7/19/1983 Izhevsk, RUS
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
72 S. Bobrovsky CBJ 6'2" 182 9/20/1988 Novokuznetsk, RUS
1 S. Varlamov COL 6'2" 209 4/27/1988 Samara, RUS
30 A. Eremenko 5'10" 165 4/10/1980 Moscow, RUS