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End of Preliminary Round

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

The preliminary round of Olympic men's hockey action wraps up today. All the Pens participants had games. In the early morning games Team USA topped Slovenia with a convincing 5-1 final. Slovakia was a handful for Russia, but the host country pulled out a 1-0 win in the shootout. Defenseman Brooks Orpik recorded his first point of the tournament with an assist. Here's a look at how the rest of the Pens Olympians did today...
  • Brooks Orpik: 1 assist, plus-1 rating
  • Paul Martin: plus-1 rating
  • Evgeni Malkin: 5 shots
  • Olli Maatta: minus-1 rating
  • Jussi Jokinen: 1 assist, plus-1 rating
  • Chris Kunitz: 1 shot
  • Sidney Crosby: 1 assist, 1 shot

Phil Kessel tallied a natural hat trick as the Americans finished off preliminary action with their third win in three tries in a 5-1 triumph over Slovenia. Kessel scored the game's opening three goals - the first with a nice 1-on-1 move, second batting in an airborne puck, third a dirty rebound. Joe Pavelski was the helper, posting three assists while setting up all of Kessel's goals. David Backes and Ryan McDonagh also scored for the United States. Goaltender Ryan Miller 17 saves in the win.

Orpik's breakout pass helped setup Kessel's second goal, and earned the blueliner his first point of the Olympics.

Russia couldn't find a way to beat Slovak goaltender Jan Laco in 65 minutes. But Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk both scored in the shootout as Russia escaped with a 1-0 victory. Laco made 36 saves to salvage a point for Slovakia. Russia was putting on intense pressure in the second and third period, especially with two power-play opportunities late in the third period, but Laco was able to hold them at bay.

Evgeni Malkin finished the game with 5 shots. He did hit the post late in the third period. Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves and two stops in the shootout for a shutout.

Drew Doughty scored both Canada goals, including the overtime game-winner, to give Team Canada a 2-1 victory in the final game of the preliminary round against Finland. Tuomo Ruutu scored the lone goal for Finland. Crosby recorded an assist on Doughty's first goal, which came on the power play. Jussi Jokinen notched an assist on the only Finnish score.

Here's a photo roundup for the day...

James van Riemsdyk and Brooks Orpik


Kessel celebrates after scoring one of his three goals.

Ryan Kesler gets into it with Andrej Tavzelj.

Group celebration.

Ryan Miller says "I got this."

President Putin taking in the Russia-Slovak game.

Evgeni Malkin crashes the net.

Malkin runs into Alexander Syomin.

Evgeni Medvedev unleashes a shot.

The Russian and Slovakian benches watch the shootout.

Finland celebrates after Ruutu ties the game in the second period.

Toews tries a wraparound on goal...

somehow Rask keeps the puck out.

Rask with the desperation save on Toews wraparound.

Refs rule "no goal" when Rick Nash knocked a puck off the top of the net and in.

Crosby and company huddle after Doughty's first goal of the game.

That concludes the perliminary rounds. Below are the final seedings.

1. Sweden
2. United States
3. Canada
4. Finland
5. Russia
6. Switzerland
7. Czech Republic
8. Slovenia
9. Austria
10. Slovakia
11. Latvia
12. Norway

The elimination round looks as follows:

The elimination round starts Tuesday. Malkin will be the only Pen in action. Let the real games begin.

All that glitters is gold.
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