GETZLAF WINS IT IN OVERTIME FOR CANADA
PITTSBURGH, Penn. – Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, Sask./Anaheim, NHL) scored 3:29 into overtime and Canada defeated Russia 3-2 on Wednesday night in its final tune-up game for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
With plenty of extra ice to work with in the three-on-three extra time, Getzlaf broke in alone and went five-hole on Sergei Bobrovsky.
Canada dominated possession for most of the game, finishing with a 48-26 advantage in shots on net, but needed a goal from John Tavares (Mississauga, Ont./New York Islanders, NHL) with just over six minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime.
Canada had opened the scoring just nine minutes into the first. Brent Burns (Barrie, Ont./San Jose, NHL) sent a short pass off the boards to Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL), who slipped the puck through two defenders to Patrice Bergeron (Ancienne-Lorette, Que./Boston, NHL). The Bruins forward went forehand to backhand to slip the puck in from in close.
Canada outshot Russia 14-5 over the first 20 minutes, with four of the Russian shots coming on one power play.
But the period set a precedent for what almost became the team’s downfall: penalty trouble. Canada was called for seven penalties, including two too-many-men minors. It killed off the first five without incident, twice not allowing a single shot on net.
But you could sense Russia was getting closer. On a power play to start the third, Artemi Panarin had an open net down low, but his stick shattered on an attempted one-timer. With Carey Price (Anahim Lake, B.C./Montreal, NHL) out of position, only a sprawling Jay Bouwmeester (Edmonton, Alta./St. Louis, NHL) prevented Russia from scoring on the rebound.
And when Marc-Édouard Vlasic (Montreal, Que./San Jose, NHL) was sent off for hooking to put Canada two men down, Russia finally struck. Off the ensuing face-off, Alex Ovechkin one-timed the tying goal.
Less than four minutes later Panarin put a rebound into an open net out front.
The equalizer came when Drew Doughty (London, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL) sent a pass from the side boards to Tavares, who circled up high and fired through traffic.
Canada begins its World Cup group play on Saturday when it faces off against the Czech Republic (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).