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Coach Slava Bykov didn't pull Nabokov until Weber scored at 4:07 of the second to make it 6-1. Given the looks on the players' faces, the move came about two or three goals too late. After the game, Bykov apologized to Russian fans for the disappointing performance.
"They scored three minutes into the game (by Getzlaf) and they keep coming, keep coming," Nabokov said. "We weren't able to stop the bleeding and they played a hell of a game. I don't think they surprised us with the physicality but how hungry they were."
Russia, which beat Canada in each of the last two world championships, also seemed unprepared for Canada's aggression. Within the first few minutes, Russia quickly learned that speed isn't a factor when stars are being knocked off their skates before they can advance into the offensive zone.
"We wanted to be physical with everyone," Crosby said. "There was not a special order just to hit him (Ovechkin)."
Luongo, who took over for a benched Martin Brodeur after the U.S. loss, gave up goals to Dmitri Kalinin, Afinogenov and Sergei Gonchar while making 25 saves, but didn't need to be brilliant with all that was going on around him.
"We did a great job, not only on Ovie but against all their top guys," Luongo said. "We wanted to not give them much room to skate."
Babcock kept rolling his four lines and relying upon his much bigger defensemen to push around Russia's forwards -- Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin were ineffective, too -- and discourage them from trying to find open lanes.
"Surprised. No. Disappointed? Yes," Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk said.
Ovechkin, whose one-upmanship duels with Crosby keep getting better and better, was nearly a no-show. The word in the Russian camp -- the players haven't talked much -- was that Ovechkin was determined to play one of the best games of his life.
Instead, the two-time NHL MVP was about as invisible as hockey's top offensive player can be after being upended twice in the first period, and his trademark big hits and end-to-end rushes were missing.
And Ovechkin's braggadocio this week that Russia has the best of everything, especially hockey players? Just so much idle talk.
Canadian TV channels have aired for months a Sid the Kid vs. Alexander the Great special featuring the anticipated star showdown. Yet neither player -- and who would have predicted this -- had a point during a 10-goal game. When they last met in the NHL on Feb. 7, Ovechkin scored three goals and Crosby had two.
Instead, Rick Nash and Brenden Morrow also scored during the kind of dominating first period that Canada didn't seem capable of playing as it lost to the U.S. and nearly lost to Switzerland in its first three games. Those games caused a nervous nation to fear its beloved team wouldn't make it to the medal round.
Now, it's the two-time defending world champion Russians who will leave the Olympics without a medal for the second successive games.
"Same thing as if it was the Canadians," Bryzgalov said. "It's a disaster. The end of the world."
Russia lost in the bronze-medal game in Turin and hasn't won an Olympics under the Russian name since the Soviet Union breakup, although a 1992 gold won by the Unified Team is now recognized as a Russian gold.
If Canada goes on to win the gold medal, this dominating victory -- which occurred on the eighth anniversary of its 2002 gold-medal victory over the U.S. in Salt Lake City -- is likely to be mentioned with its 1972 Summit Series and 1987 Canada Cup triumphs over the Soviets.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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