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Russia 9, Kazakhstan 2

By David Ginsburg
AP Sports Writer
Friday, February 13, 1998; 7:35 a.m. EST


NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Rusty? Out of shape? Nyet.

Sergei Federov, playing his first hockey game since last June, scored with 90 seconds elapsed and added an assist today to lift Russia past outmanned Kazakhstan 9-2 in the Olympic tournament.

Pavel Bure of the Vancouver Canucks scored two goals in the second period and sat out the final 20 minutes with a bruised calf, but said he would be back in action Sunday against Finland.

```We were up 7-1 and obviously the game was done,'' Bure said. ``I'll definitely play the next game.''

Federov helped the Detroit Red Wings win the 1996-97 NHL championship, but he has yet to play this season because of a contract dispute. He joined the Russian team as a late replacement for an injured player, and didn't waste any time making his presence felt.

Playing on the second line, Federov took a lead pass from Andrei Kovalenko and easily outskated an overwhelmed Kazakhstan defenseman before lifting a backhander past goaltender Vitaly Yeremeyev.

Alexei Yashin (Ottawa Senators) and Andrei Kovalenko (Edmonton Oilers) each scored two goals for the Russians, who dressed 20 NHL players. Kazakhstan, a surprise qualifier from the preliminary round, is the only one of the eight remaining teams without an NHL player -- and it showed.

Russia scored five of nine shots in the second period to go up 7-1, making the final 20 minutes a formality.

After Federov gave Russia a 1-0 lead, Kazakhstan quickly pulled even when Erlan Sagymbayev beat goaltender Mikhail Shtalenkov with a slap shot from inside the blue line at 2:15 of the first period.

Federov then used his speed and strength to help Russia regain the lead at 8:15. After breaking free at center ice, Federov was hooked as he shuffled a pass to Yashin, who scored from the left circle.

Russia went up 3-1 at 55 seconds of the second period. Yashin powered his way into the Kazakhstan zone with Andrei Savenkov hanging all over him, then squibbed a backhander past Yeremeyev.

Bure then scored twice, at 7:34 and 12:01, before Kovalenko, of Edmonton, scored at 12:14 to chase Yeremeyev.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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