After ceding the net to Sergei Bobrovsky during Saturday’s controversial shootout loss to the United States; Semyon Varlamov was back in net for the Russians. As strong as the 25-year-old was in regulation and overtime (casting aside 27 shots); he was just as up to task in the shootout, stopping both Slovakian shooters to secure the win.
"The most important thing for me, and for the whole team, was to win," said Varlamov. "I think, the team played pretty well. We had a huge amount of great chances, but just couldn't capitalize on them."
The Russians peppered the Slovakian net for much of the contest to no avail, with Jan Laco stopping all 37 of their shots.
Though he was perfect in regulation and overtime, Laco surrendered goals on both of Russia’s shots in the shootout. Alexander Radulov beat Laco with a well-placed backhand on the first attempt. Injured in regulation, Ilya Kovalchuk returned to secure the victory for Russia in the shootout.
Unfortunately for the Russians, by failing to win in regulation, they only received two out of a possible three points for the victory; and failed to earn a bye into the quarterfinals.
Russia will now play Norway in the first elimination round, with the winner facing Finland in the quarterfinals.