Too soon to call USA-Russia game a classic?

Too soon to call USA-Russia game a classic?
February 15, 2014, 4:15 pm
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Maybe the Americans and Russians will meet again in these Olympics in a winner-take-all gold medal game. Maybe not.

Regardless, it will be hard to top their game Saturday in front of a Bolshoy Ice Dome crowd of 11,678 that included Sidney Crosby.

“Great hockey game,” Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin told reporters after the Americans’ thrilling 3-2 shootout victory over Russia.

Classic might have been a better description.

This game had just about everything, including:

-A disallowed go-ahead goal by Fedor Tyutin with 4:20 remaining in regulation that had the Russians wondering if USA goalie Jonathan Quick intentionally popped the post off its mooring.

“I don’t know what happened there, but definitely was a goal,” Ovechkin told reporters. “Nobody touched the net. Their goalie touched the net and put it out. But the referee has to see it and at least give him two minutes, you know?”

-All kinds of American nastiness from Rangers captain Ryan Callahan, who hit everything wearing red and white and was particularly hard against Ovechkin.

-Incredible penalty killing from the Americans, particularly defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Kesler, who sacrificed their bodies to get in the way of bombs from Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

- A head-scratching, behind-the-play, cross-checking penalty taken by Alexander Radulov on Dustin Brown that led to the Americans’ power-play goal by Cam Fowler.

-An incredible save by Sergei Bobrovsky on Patrick Kane to keep the game knotted at 2 in the closing minutes of 4-on-4 overtime.

-An eight-round shootout to end all shootouts, with T.J. Oshie scoring an incredible four times on six attempts.

“I aged a couple years in that shootout,” said Team USA coach Dan Bylsma, who said he never gave a thought of letting anyone other than Oshie participate in the shootout after it got past the third shooter.

Bylsma was simply playing the percentages. Oshie is 7-for-10 in shootout attempts this season and 25-for-46 [54.3 percent] in his NHL career.

"Once we got to the fourth shooter, with the quality of moves he had, we were going to ride him out,” Bylsma said.

Here’s a blow-by-blow of the shootout.

USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: GOAL.
RUS, Evgeni Malkin shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: MISSED.
USA, James van Riemsdyk shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: SAVED.
RUS, Pavel Datsyuk shootout attempt against Jonathan QuicK: SAVED.
USA, Joe Pavelski shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: SAVED.
RUS, Ilya Kovalchuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: GOAL. 
RUS, Ilya Kovalchuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: SAVED.
USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: MISSED.
RUS, Pavel Datsyuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: GOAL.
USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: GOAL.
RUS, Ilya Kovalchuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: GOAL.
USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: GOAL.
RUS, Pavel Datsyuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: SAVED.
USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: SAVED.
RUS, Ilya Kovalchuk shootout attempt against Jonathan Quick: SAVED.
USA, T.J. Oshie shootout attempt against Sergei Bobrovsky: GOAL.

[RELATED: Oshie shows why Team USA selected him]