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Russians Get On Board, Outlast Slovenians

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

BRATISLAVA – The game was tied 4-4 with 3:41 remaining, and while beating Slovenia may not seem like a huge feat, Alexander Radulov is surely a Russian hero today, thanks to his game winning 5-4 goal.

Alexander Radulov and Maxim Afinogenov have two-point nights, Yevgeni Nabokov makes 31 saves for Russia in their 6-4 victory.

"I think there are a lot of aspects of our game we need to improve, especially discipline and defensive play. We gave up two 5-on-3’s. We can do better than that. Yevgeni Nabokov had to make some good saves to keep us in the game. It was a crucial time in the game," said Afinogenov.

"I think it’s one of the best games in our history. Russia’s the best team in the world. We prepared well for them. We just said we had to work as hard as we did against the Slovaks, and I think we did a great job," said Slovenia's two-goal scorer Bostjan Golicic.

If the first game against Germany taught Russia anything, it was probably that there are no easy games in the World Championship anymore. And they got off to a good start, pushing Slovenia to their heels right from the get-go, and when Slovenia’s goaltender Andrej Hocevar got an interference penalty at 2:44, Russia got their chance.

Ilya Kovalchuk quarterbacked the powerplay from the point, and sent a saucer to Vitali Atyushov on the blueline. Atyushov's a slapshot that beat Hocever high on his blocker side at 4:22. Alexei Radulov collected an assist.

Dmitry Kulikov played a role in the victory, firing a rocket past Hocevar for the Russian's, giving them a 3-2 lead 6:15 into the third period. He finished with the goal on two shots and a minus-1 on 14:21 of ice time.

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