Alex Ovechkin had a power play goal and an assist Friday as Russia beat Switzerland 5-0 in the opening game of the 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championships.
The Capitals’ captain also had four shots on goal and a plus-2 rating while skating a team-high 21:16 (defensemen included) in the tournament opener in Minsk, Belarus.
Ovechkin is competing in the World Championships for the 10th time in the last 11 years and is wearing the ‘C’ for his national team for the first time at the 'senior’ level.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside all 27 shots he faced in the shutout, while Ovechkin’s Washington teammates, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeni Kuznetsov were both held off the score sheet. Russia continues the preliminary round on Sunday against Finland.
STUNNING LOSS FOR CANADA:
The upset of the day Friday saw France beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout, with former Caps goalie Cristobal Huet turning aside 34 shots in the French win. Huet was also a perfect 3-for-3 in the skills competition as France beat Canada for the first time since 1995.
The Canadian lineup includes a trio of Capitals with Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward all playing overseas this month.
None of the Capitals factored into the scoring, but Chimera and Ward were linemates in the tournament opener with Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele. Brouwer skated primarily on a line with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri and Cody Hodgson of the Buffalo Sabres.
AMERICANS OPEN WITH WIN:
Tim Thomas made 20 saves and Jacob Trouba had two goals, including the game-winner, as the U.S. beat host Belarus 6-1 in the tournament opener for both teams.
Capitals center and pending free agent Mikhail Grabovski had an assist for Belarus. The Belarusians are coached by former Capitals bench boss Glen Hanlon.
The U.S. will seek a second straight win as they face Switzerland in one of six preliminary round games on Saturday [NBCSN; 1:45 p.m.]. All seven U.S. games in the preliminary round are airing live on the NBC Sports Network.
Capitals goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer could make his World Championships debut Saturday as Germany plays its tournament opener against Kazakhstan.