USA, Russia prevail in men's hockey openers
FEB 13, 2014 11:22a ET
A rout and a scare highlighted the action of Day 2 of the men's Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi.
Team USA crushed Slovakia 7-1. The Americans used a six-goal second period to pull away from the Slovaks.
The Americans had a 1-0 lead entering the second period, but Detroit's Tomas Tatar tied it up for Slovakia early in second period.
Tartar's goal seemed to ignite Team USA, which answered quickly and scored six straight goals. The Americans were led by Paul Stastny, who had had two goals, and Phil Kessel, who had a goal and two assists. Livonia's Ryan Kesler also chipped in a goal and assist.
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard didn't dress for Team USA.
Howard's Detroit teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, did dress for Team Russia and appeared to play half-speed in Russia's 5-2 win over Slovenia.
Datsyuk, who is Team Russia's captain, had just one shot on goal and was a minus-1.
Many expected the Russians to dominate Slovenia. However, they led only 3-2 entering the third period. But two third-period goals, by Valeri Nichushkin and Anton Belov, sealed Russia's victory.
Next up for the Russians is a clash against Team USA on Saturday. It's a game that's being billed as Russia's revenge for the 1980 "Miracle on Ice," when Team USA defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union 4-3 in the Lake Placid Olympics.
In other Olympic news, Team Sweden's captain, Henrik Zetterberg, missed practice and the team photo, leading to speculation that the Red Wings captain is nursing a sore back, which has flared up this season.
Zetterberg, who scored a goal and was a plus-2 in Sweden's 4-2 victory Czech Republic on Wednesday, is expected to be on the ice in Sweden's next game, which is Friday against Switzerland. However, there's a feeling that he might be rested versus the Swiss.
Later Thursday, Team Canada, with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock at the helm, also saw its first Olympic action, defeating Norway 3-1.