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Finn-ished: Varlamov yanked after three goals on 15 shots

Feb 19, 2014, 8:52 AM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Semyon Varlamov #1 of Russia takes a break as Finland celebrates after Teemu Selanne #8 of Finland scored a first-period goal during the Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff on Day 12 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

The Russians have been alternating their goaltenders throughout the Olympics, so even after Vezina Trophy-winning netminder Sergei Bobrovsky posted a 22-save shutout against Norway in Tuesday’s qualification round match, Russia went with Semyon Varlamov against Finland.

It didn’t work out.

Although Russia’s defense deserves its fair share of the blame, Varlamov allowed three goals on 15 shots as Finland took a 3-1 lead by 5:37 of the second period. With Russia’s chances of winning a medal on home ice — let alone the gold — in jeopardy, they went back to Bobrovsky.

The Russians have had no shortage of problems and concerns in this tournament, from their questionable defense, to a top line with Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin that hasn’t been able to dominate like they should, to a theoretically deadly top power-play unit that hasn’t clicked. Although Russia has been able to defeat teams that have far less star power and talent, it hasn’t looked particularly good overall.

The one exception has been Russia’s goaltending as both Varlamov and Bobrovsky have been superb in this tournament — or at least that was the case going into the quarterfinals.

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