The underdog Slovene squad gave the host team all they could handle for the first two periods of their opening game, trailing only 3-2 through forty minutes of play. However, the Russians’ skill level eventually helped them outpace their opponents. Two quick third-period goals from head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov’s players lifted the Russians to a 5-2 win, much to the delight of the home crowd. The final shot count, 35-14, was tilted heavily in the Russians’ favour.
Habs defensemen Alexei Emelin and Andrei Markov went scoreless, logging 16:17 and 13:58 in icetime respectively. UNITED STATES 7-1 SLOVAKIA
The Americans kicked off their Olympic campaign in the best possible way, thoroughly outplaying the Slovaks en route to a 7-1 win. Max Pacioretty lined up alongside Paul Stastny and T.J. Oshie and notched an assist on Oshie’s goal. The Habs winger also compiled a +2 differential in his 11:30 spent on the ice.
After Jaroslav Halak allowed five goals on twenty shots through the first 30 minutes, Canadiens netminder Peter Budaj came into the game in relief of the former Hab. Budaj allowed goals on the first two shots he faced, before shutting the door the rest of the way.
CANADA 3-1 NORWAY
Carey Price was nearly flawless as the Canadians eased their way into the tournament with a 3-1 win. Shea Weber opened the scoring in the second period, while Jame Benn and Drew Doughty also scored for Canada.
Norway, led by Mats Zuccarello, their lone active NHL player, counted on the solid goaltending of Lars Haugen to keep the game close all the way. Haugen turned aside 35 of 38 shots, while Carey Price faced 20 shots and only allowed one goal, a third period powerplay marker from Patrick Thoresen. The win marked Price first at the Olympic level. Roberto Luongo will start on Friday against Austria.
P.K. Subban was a healthy scratch and did not play.
Olympic outlook: Max Pacioretty
Olympic outlook: Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin
Subban set to do whatever it takes
Price to start Olympic opener for Canada
Canada shows first hints of Olympic lineup in Sochi
Russian defense looking to step up in Sochi
Olympic outlook: Carey Price and P.K. Subban
2014 Winter Olympics