Russia routs Canada, 5-2, to make world semifinal
Thursday, May 20, 2010; 5:34 PM
COLOGNE, Germany -- Evgeni Malkin scored twice, and Russia beat Canada again at the world ice hockey championship, eliminating the Olympic champion with a convincing 5-2 win Thursday night.
Russia beat Canada in the last two world finals. Together, they have won the title 49 times, and unbeaten Russia has an excellent chance at a record 26th this weekend.
In the semifinals, Russia will face host Germany, which beat Switzerland 1-0 thanks to Philip Gogulla's goal midway through the second period.
"The way we play, only the best team will win," Russia captain Ilya Kovalchuk said. "But we feel good about ourselves and we have to be ready for the next game." The other semifinal on Saturday in Cologne will be Sweden against the Czech Republic. Sweden beat Denmark 4-2 and the Czechs held off Finland 2-1 in a shootout.
Maxim Afinogenov, Pavel Datsyuk and Sergei Fedorov added the others for Russia in a showdown with Canada that featured big hits and a fair share of bad blood.
"They took some bad penalties and we took advantage of it," Kovalchuk said.
Russia lost to Canada 7-3 in the Vancouver Olympics quarterfinals and retained 14 from that side. Canada, however, had only Corey Perry from the gold-medal winners.
The Russians grabbed the lead with 57.6 seconds left in the first period. Afinogenov's slapshot was slowed by Canada goalie Chris Mason but not stopped.
Russia doubled its lead less than two minutes into the second on a power play with Datsyuk poking home from the right side after some fine passing.
The Canadians increased the pressure offensively in the second period but could not beat Russia goalie Semyon Varlamov.
The Russians finished off Canada with another power-play goal with 2:29 remaining in the second as Dmitri Kalinin fed Malkin for a shot through Mason's legs. Fedorov joined the scoring parade midway through the third, deflecting home Vitaly Atyushov's slapshot from the blue line.
Canada finally got a consolation goal on a breakaway through John Tavares. Malkin added an empty net goal with three minutes remaining and Matt Duchene hit one in with 14.1 seconds left.