BRATISLAVA – The KHL trio of Sergei Zinoviev, Danis Zaripov, and captain Alexei Morozov keyed Russia to a 4-3 win over Denmark to open Qualification Round play Thursday night.
Zinoviev led the way with a hat trick and Zaripov assisted on all three goals. The two were teammates with Ak Bars Kazan for six seasons, up until 2008-09. Their national team linemate, Morozov, added a couple of helpers.
Yevgeni Artyukhin scored the eventual winner early in the third period.
"We were a little nervous, and the Danes focused on a good transition game," said Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov. "Overall, I'm happy with the result."
"The Danes played hard, and we got a couple of bad penalties," said Russia's Nikolai Kulyomin. "We had a lot of scoring chances and could have scored more than four goals."
For Denmark, Nichlas Hardt tallied twice and Mikkel Bødker had the other goal.
“It was great to have all the Slovak fans cheering for us," said Danish defenceman Philip Hersby. "We played last night but we had a lot of energy today anyway."
Russia now has six points in Group E. The Danes remain at zero, with their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals marginal at best.
Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov
finished a minus-1 with 12:46 of ice time (17 shifts).FULL STORY