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GONCHAR, MALKIN STRONG IN RUSSIA'S 5-3 DEFEAT

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Russia opened the Winter Olympics with a 5-3 loss to Slovakia in Group B pool play Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar and prospect Evgeni Malkin both enjoyed solid games for Russia.

Gonchar, a defenseman, assisted on Alexander Ovechkin’s power-play goal in the second period. Gonchar blistered a shot from the far point and Ovechkin got his stick on the puck to deflect it into the goal.

Malkin, the 2004 second-overall pick, did not register a point. Neither did Penguins winger Tomas Surovy, who is on Team Slovakia.

The Russians return to action Friday at 10 a.m. against Sweden, while Slovakia battles Latvia at 11 a.m.

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