Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby would rather be fighting for a Stanley Cup than a gold medal, but thanks to their semifinal victories on Saturday in the World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic they’ll be battling in the championship game of the tournament on Sunday.
Less than three days after his Capitals were eliminated by the Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Ovechkin scored a goal and added an assist in Russia’s 4-0 win over the Americans on Saturday, clinching a spot in Sunday’s 2:45 p.m. gold medal game against Canada, who won 3-0 over the Czech Republic.
Russia has won four of the last seven World Championships, with victories in 2008. 2009, 2012 and 2014.
Canada has not won a gold medal in the World Championships since 2007. Twice since then they have lost to Russia in the gold-medal game, in 2008 and 2009.
Ovechkin left for Prague on Thursday afternoon and practiced with Team Russia on Friday. This is his 11th appearance for Russia in the Worlds and he’s looking for his fourth gold medal. He helped Russia win gold in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Ovechkin played on a line with Viktor Tikhonov, last year’s tournament scoring leader, and Sergei Plotnikov.
After two scoreless periods, Ovechkin ripped a wrist shot through U.S. goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to give the Russians a 2-0 lead in the third period. He also assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s empty-netter with 1:25 remaining.
Russia’s win over the Americans improved their record to 35-6-1 against the U.S.
Jason Spezza leads all scorers in the tournament with six goals and eight assists in nine games, followed by Taylor Hall, Matt Duchene and Jordan Eberle with 12 points each. Crosby has six assists.
Ovechkin now has 59 points (32 goals, 27 assists) in 66 career games at the World Championships. He won gold medals with Russia in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
MORE CAPITALS: Canada, Russia advance to ice hockey worlds final