T.J. Oshie was named to Team USA partly because of his prowess in the shootout. That paid off when he put on a show in the shootout to beat Russia 3-2.
International rules allow a player to go multiple times in the shootout and Oshie connected four out of six times to get the win.
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The Americans had a great chance to win it in overtime, but Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Patrick Kane on a breakaway with 2:41 left in the five-minute OT. Bobrovsky squeezed his pads as Kane tried to push the puck between his pad.
In front of a crowd of 11,678, the Russians thought they had produced the game-winner on a shot by Fedor Tyutin with 4:40 remaining in the game, but the goal was disallowed because the net was slightly dislodged.
With Dustin Brown in the penalty box, Datsyuk tied the score with a power-play goal with 7:16 remaining in the third period. It was his second goal of the game.
T.J. Oshie proved he belongs on America's Olympic hockey team Saturday. In a thrilling shootout against Russia, he took 6 of the 8 shots, and led the Americans to victory in the preliminary round. VPC
Midway through the third period, Joe Pavelski had scored a power play goal to give USA a 2-1 lead. Kane set up the goal by threading a perfect pass through bodies.
The game was as tight and hotly contested as it was expected to be.
The symbol of intensity came early in the game when USA's Ryan Callahan and Russia's Evgeny Medvedev stood nose to nose jawing each other after a whistle.
There might not have been a more heated exchange between a Russian and American since President Kennedy exchanged words with Nikita Khruschev during the Cuban Missile crisis.
That level of intensity continued throughout the game. David Backes was a beast for the Americans, using his big body to be a physical defensive force.
At one point, he threw heavy body checks against both Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin on the same shift.
He also mixed it up with Fedor Tyutin. The Russians aren't known for their physical play, but these Russians resembled the hard-to-play-against St. Louis Blues more than the Big Red Machine of the Soviet era.
In the past, the Russians could be spooked by physical play. Not this era of Russians. They mixed it up push for shove against an American team that was built with the idea that they needed an edge to their game to succeed.
Both teams generated more bumps and bruises than blue chip scoring chances.
Toughness abounded. U.S. center Ryan Kesler, maybe USA's best player in Game 1, injured his hand or wrist when he was struck by Ilya Kovalchuk's sizzling slap shot. He was forced to leave the bench to walk off the injury, but he came back a minute or two later.
The Americans showed their resilience and patience when they tied the game 1-1 on defenseman Cam Fowler's rebound power play goal at 16:34 of the third period.
James van Riemsdyk fired the puck on net, and Fowler caught enough of the puck to shovel it into the empty side.
The Russians had taken a 1-0 lead on Datsyuk's first goal, a brilliant triggered by defenseman Andrei Markov's seeing-eye outlet pass. The pass and Datsyuk caught defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik flat-footed. He zipped between them and snapped a shot past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick.