Canada beats Russia 5-3, advances to World Cup finals

"That's why [Crosby] is one of the best players in the world; he's able to impose his will and change the direction of the game", said Shea Weber, a significant factor in completely nullifying Ovechkin, who was limited to one shot and one attempt in 20:29. When you're able to lead at this level of a group of leaders and you're able to take control, it shows how special he is. I'm still trying to take in everything.

Crosby on Marchand quickly becoming a solid linemate: "It's the way he works on both sides of the puck". He stressed that more of the same against Bobrovsky would eventually lead to positive results.

The Russian goaltender was on top of his game for two dominant periods.

It was not the first time Team Europe has stunned an opponent at the best-on-best tournament. He made 42 saves, numerous acrobatic variety. None of Russia's extra-man chances were as good as any of those three shorthanded bids from Canada.

Trailing only once previously, and for all of 89 seconds, Canada scratched back to even just over a minute later on the first of two goals from Brad Marchand.

There was a fleeting moment in the second period that maybe this time would be different for Ovechkin and Russian Federation.

Perry was left alone in front and buried a loose puck to make it 4-2.

Tavares and linemates, Ryan Getzlaf and Steven Stamkos, were punishing over the first two periods, but among those thrwarted by Bobrovsky. It's hard to score goals when you're on the wrong side of the ice, and Canada spent long stretches in the offensive zone, keeping Ovechkin and the unsafe Russian forwards a safe distance from goalie Carey Price.

Artemi Panarin scored with seven seconds left, so the victor will eventually go to the Perry sheet. Russia's 2-1 advantage ended after 1:12. On a rare forechecking sequence, the Russians worked the puck around the Canadian cage, with Ivan Telegin passing toward Evgeny Kuznetsov at the back door.

Marchand brought Canada even at 2-2 at 17:36 of the second period, just 72 seconds after Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals and Russian Federation had put his homeland ahead, 2-1.

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Could Canada win gold with pain-in-the-neck pests?

Sergei Bobrovsky was brilliant in goal for Russian Federation who led 2-1 at one point late in the second period but couldn't stop the Canadian juggernaut from battling back with three unanswered goals in the first half of the third to take command.

They couldn't. Crosby was asked if the Canada-Russia rivalry is over, and he said, "I don't know". "He made a lot of really big saves and really kept them in it, especially in the second [period]". While Team North America has been an absolute blast to watch, I can't help but think I'd be annoyed as a Slovenian who wants to see Anze Kopitar play with his countrymen and not a hodge podge of others who live on the continent.

With goaltender Jaroslav Halak, the Europeans seem to have a shot to stun Canada.

The shot was the 41st of the night fired on him by Canadian skaters. If they think a B tournament, particularly one stationed in Europe, could make them money then that's what will happen. He deftly dropped a pass to Marchand atop the left circle to assist on the winning goal 1:16 into the third. When Russia emerged they played handsome hockey: they were artists woven together under the brutalism of Soviet Russia.

Corey Perry (5:48) and John Tavares (9:22) rounded out the scoring for Canada in the third period.

Canada will now await the victor of Sweden-Europe, who will play the second semifinal on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

When it was all said and done, Canada was just deeper and better than Russian Federation.

This is why you are consistently named the captain of Team Canada - and none of the other stars on the roster disagree.

"I just think he knows how good he is and he's more patient with what he's doing", Babcock said. Neither poses much of a threat to beat the Canadians twice in a best-of-three final.

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