Skip to content

Ovechkin: Russians got ‘casual’ after early lead vs. Slovenia

Feb 13, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

OviRussia AP

After scoring twice in the opening four minutes against Slovenia on Thursday, Russia looked like it was primed for a blowout win.

Just one problem — the Russians took their collective foot off the gas.

Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk acknowledged as much following the 5-2 win, saying a combination of the quick start and frenzied home crowd had an effect on the remainder of the contest.

“We started really well, but after when we got the lead 2-0, we played more casual,” Ovechkin said, per the Olympic News Service. “We can’t play like that in the future.”

Kovalchuk, who netted the eventual game-winner on a late second-period power play, said Russia was guilty of whipping the puck around too much and a hesitancy to fire away.

“In the second period we got too relaxed, but we gathered ourselves back in the third period,” he said. “We started to pass more in the second period, that is why we were told to shoot more during the break.”

The Russians out-shot Slovenia 18-4 in the first period, but just 17-10 over the final two frames. Slovenia gradually worked its way back into the game and trailed by just one goal heading into the third period, before Valeri Nichushkin and Anton Belov scored to put the contest out of reach.

It does have to be said, though, that Russia displayed tremendous energy and tenacity to start the game, led by the Ovechkin-Evgeni Malkin-Alex Semin line. The trio was responsible for both of the opening goals — Malkin set up Ovechkin for the first, Ovechkin set up Malkin for the second — and clearly fed off the electric atmosphere at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

“Crazy crowd, unbelievable atmosphere out there,” Ovechkin said. “It’s great. It’s unbelievable.”

Related: Russia opens with win, beats Slovenia 5-2

Latest Posts
  1. Canucks earn single point in loss to the Stars

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:40 AM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks Dallas Stars v Vancouver Canucks

    Vancouver leads L.A. by three points in the Pacific Division.

  2. Western Conference playoff picture: Wild keep rolling, Ducks and Preds clinch

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:05 AM EDT

    Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle,Jared Spurgeon,Ryan Carter, Marco Scandella AP

    Vancouver creates breathing room in the Pacific Division.

  3. Leafs deliver blow to Sens’ playoff hopes

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    James van Riemsdyk, Jonathan Bernier AP

    Toronto won for just the sixth time in 34 games.

  4. Blues’ Steen leaves game vs. Jackets (Updated)

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Alexander Steen Getty Images

    Collided with Cody Goloubef in the first period.

  5. Jones replaces Quick in Kings’ net

    Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    martinjonesap AP

    He allowed two goals on nine first period shots.

  6. Video: Glass fined for butt-ending McQuaid

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.39.50 PM

    It’ll cost him $3,897.85.

  7. Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings

    Mar 28, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 5.32.11 PM

    Detroit moves five points up on Boston in the Atlantic with the win.

  8. Ducks punch their playoff ticket, too

    Mar 28, 2015, 4:38 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Ryan Kesler AP

    Anaheim currently has the NHL’s best record as well.

  9. Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    Henrik Lundqvist AP

    Big win for the B’s.

  10. Predators clinch playoff berth after slipping by Caps

    Mar 28, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Ryan Ellis, Filip Forsberg AP

    The West’s first ticket gets punched.

  11. Bruins chalk Rask’s absence up to dehydration (Update)

    Mar 28, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT

    Tuukka Rask AP

    The only update so far is he’s “unlikely to return.”

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches