Russia outlasts Finland
Two in the second for Barbashev keys win
Facing a hostile crowd and a 2-0 deficit in the third period, Finland managed to cut the lead to one with a power play goal from Jonatan Tanus, coming off a crisp cross-ice pass from Kasperi Kapanen.
But midway through the frame Russia started to make more rushes and pressure the Finns into committing turnovers in the neutral zone, limiting the chances for the equalizing goal to happen. With the Finnish goalie on the bench, Vladimir Tkachyoch scored the empty-net goal to seal the win.
"We didn't play a complete game tonight, there were a few turnovers at the blue line and other mistakes that we can't make," said Kapanen.
Following a breathtaking but scoreless first period that saw Finland goaltender Juuse Saros stand on his head more than once to deny the Russian forwards, Russia finally broke through early on in the second. The goal came on the power play, with Ivan Barbashev scoring from the high slot with an assist from Vladimir Tkachyov and Nikolai Glukhov.
Russia looked to have another soon after, but the point blank shot from Rushan Rafikov ricocheted off the crossbar and stayed out.
But the goal put the momentum, and the crowd, squarely onto the Russian side, and it was Ivan Barbashev who brought the Bolshoy Arena spectators to its feet once more in the second period. After captain Valeri Nichushkin forced a giveaway from the Finns, Vladimir Tkachyov cut into the Finnish zone and dished it off to Barbashev alone at the side of the net for his second goal of the game.
"I wouldn't call myself a hero of the match," said Barbashev. "My linemates were there to help me tonight."
Said Russia head coach Igor Kravchuk: "In the organization and tactics of the game we are much better. Still there are problems, but the tournament is long and we will adjust the course."
Both teams will have a day off Sunday. Monday, Finland will next play against the Czech Republic, and Russia will face Latvia.