SOCHI, Russia —
The U.S. men are only interested in the one that all but wrapped up an automatic berth in the quarterfinals next week.
“I think you’re going to see T.J. Oshie become a household name after that display he put on,” said David Backes, Oshie’s teammate in St. Louis. “The kids will be out on the pond probably in Minnesota right now, throwing a 5-hole on the goalie three or four times in a row.”
Cam Fowler and Joe Pavelski scored in regulation for the Americans in the marquee game of the preliminary round. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and stopped five attempts in the shootout as the U.S. improved to 2-0.
Captain Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout for the Russians, who rallied from a third-period deficit in a fast-paced game played in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an energized home crowd. The Russians also had an apparent goal waved off with 4:40 left because Quick’s net came off its moorings.
“The U.S. team is a good team and a good test for us,” Datsyuk said. “We played good, but the result is not good.”
The shootout finish was entertaining, but the entire game was international hockey at its most compelling — and the third period was a thriller.
Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal for the Americans on a power play with 10:33 to play, but Datsyuk tied it with 7:16 left during a Russian power play, spurring Putin out of his seat to cheer.
After review, the officials waved off Fedor Tyutin’s apparent go-ahead goal because the net was loose, incensing the Russian crowd. Quick claimed he didn’t even realize the net had come unmoored several seconds earlier.
“So it’s just, I guess, a lucky break,” Quick said. “You need to catch some breaks to win games.”