Sochi Olympics Men’s Hockey Live Stream: Russia vs. Norway Qualification Playoff Game – TV Schedule, Scores, Results
With pressure mounting from the home Sochi crowd, especially after Saturday's tough shootout loss to the U.S. men's hockey team in which American T.J. Oshie hit the game-winning goal, Russia finds themselves playing in the qualification playoffs against Norway Tuesday morning.
Russia was forced into another overtime shootout Sunday against Slovakia, winning 1-0, after the Russians were stymied by Slovakian G Jan Loco during the first three periods and overtime. Loco, who plays for HC Donbass, in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) saved 36 shots, stonewalling the Russian's potent offense before giving up goals in the shootout to KHL's Ilya Kovalchuk of SKA Saint Petersburg and CSKA Moscow Alexander Radulov.
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"I really thought we had good bounce-back after [Saturday]," said Slovak captain Zdeno Chara, who plays for the National Hockey League's (NHL) Boston Bruins. "We just have to build on that and get ready for our next opponent. You always have a chance in this tournament no matter what you do in your first games. You can still move along if you win that do-or-die game. We have to get ready for that."
Russia, who went into Sunday's game against Slovakia reeling after their shootout against Team USA, needed the win to re-establish confidence despite being a heavy favorite in the tournament. On top of playing before a raucous crowd expecting the team to win the gold medal, Russia features a potent offense that has the Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and the Carolina Hurricanes' Alexander Semin on the first line and Detroit Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk, Radulov, and Kovalchuk on the second line.
After the loss to the US, the Russian squad is feeling the pressure of having to live up to their fans' expectations.
"[Saturday's] game definitely had an effect because we spent a lot of energy and emotions," said Russian head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov. "Guys found it difficult to play today, but I must say Slovakia was very hard to play against."
Russia will now face Norway in Tuesday's qualification playoffs, after stumbling into fifth place coming out of the preliminary round, being forced to play an extra game to qualify into the quarterfinals. Finland awaits the winner of Russia-Norway in the quarterfinal round.
Norway goes into the qualification playoffs as the 12th seed, after losing 3-1 to Canada, 6-1 to Finland, and 3-1 to Austria. Norway will lean on F Patrick Thoresen, formerly of the Edmonton Oilers and currently playing for SKA Saint Petersburg, who has a goal and an assist in the tournament, while hoping that their lone NHL player, New York Rangers RW Mats Zuccarello, finds his scoring touch in order to pull off the upset over the Russians.
Despite being heavily favored against Norway, Russian goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who started against Slovenia and Slovakia - stopping 27 shots-on-goal to preserve the shutout - is not taking the Norwegian squad lightly.
"It does not matter if we will have to play an extra match," said Varlamov, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL. "The end result is that we will have to play against a good team eventually."
Live Stream, Schedule & Scores