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Russians tinker with lines

by John Dellapina
Up to the minute news out of Russia's Saturday afternoon practice, thanks to intrepid reporter Dan Rosen, who trekked out to the Brittania Ice Arena since the Russians decided not to make themselves available to the mass media at the main rink:
Evgeni Nabokov of the San Jose Sharks gets the start in goal tomorrow against the Czech Republic. Presumably, should he win, the Russians then will ride him (and not Phoenix netminder Ilya Bryzgalov) through the medal round.
The Russians shook up their top two forward lines, which have had intermittent moments through two games but not displayed consistent chemistry. Basically, centers Pavel Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin switched slots.
Malkin, of the Pittsburgh Penguins, will center his contemporaries and NHL rivals -- Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals. Datsyuk moves down to play the pivot for Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov.
Also, Russian forward Alexander Radulov, who left the Nashville Predators despite being under contract, spent a few minutes after practice chatting with Nashville GM David Poile.
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