Was it a touch awkward for hockey fans in Columbus? Maybe, but you wouldn't have known based on the reaction.
In what will likely go down as one of the great Olympic hockey games of our generation, the United States held off a high-powered Russian team for a 3-2 shootout win at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi - and it wasn't without drama.
Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring for Russia in the second period, but the Americans had a power play response not long after on a goal from Olympic rookie Cam Fowler. Midway through the third period, another Team USA power play goal - a beautiful set-up from Patrick Kane across the ice to Joe Pavelski - gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead but again, the opposition had an answer.
Team USA got itself into penalty trouble throughout the game and it bit them in the third period. Datsyuk, who put on a brilliant performance for the Russians, scored his second of the day through an Alex Radulov screen and under U.S. goaltender Jonathan Quick to tie things up at 2-2.
Minutes later, the Russians thought they had a go-ahead goal from Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin. Remember the "drama" part? Yeah, this was it.
Tyutin let a slap shot fly from the extreme left point that found its way through traffic and under the crossbar, but after video review, it was determined that the net was dislodged prior to the puck entering the net. In international hockey, that's a no-go. Thus, the goal was disallowed.
And you all probably know what happened next: TJ Oshie - who has been a bit of a public enemy in Columbus over the years - scored four times in the shootout to lead Team USA to victory. Quick, staring down at Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk, bent a little but stood tall when it counted to give Oshie a chance to win it.
Other notes from today's unforgettable game...
- We'd be remiss with mentioning Bobrovsky, perhaps a bit of a surprise starter today for the Russians. He was simply outstanding, and when Russia needed him, he stepped up with huge stops and particularly so late in the third period with Team USA's lethal power play on the ice. If not for Oshie, Bobrovsky might have stolen this game for the Russians.
- Tyutin, paired again with Ilya Nikulin, played a solid game and was noticeably active in jumping up in the play and trying to get shots through from the point. In his third Olympics, he's been a sound veteran presence for Russia and was exactly that today. Nikita Nikitin again played with Anton Belov of Edmonton for this game against the U.S.
- Steady day for Artem Anisimov, who had a couple of chances in the game along with line mates Vladimir Tarasenko and Nikolai Kulemin. He also saw some penalty-killing time for Russia.
- Team USA is back at it tomorrow (7:30 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) against Slovenia, which just picked up its first-ever Olympic victory on Saturday vs. Slovakia. With a win, Team USA clinches Group A headed to the quarterfinal round.