Three Capitals Advance To Olympic Semifinals

Posted on February 19, 2014 by Ken Maguire

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin's dream of winning Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia, came to a disastrous and early end when Finland defeated Russia, 3-1, during a quarterfinal game Feb. 19.

The Capitals will get their captain back sooner than expected, but may have to deal with an emotionally drained Ovechkin, who was slow to rebound after the Russians were eliminated without a medal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Ovechkin was the face of the Olympics in Russia, but will again be answering questions about Olympic disappointment, just as he has with the Capitals' playoff failures.

Russia took an early lead on Ilya Kovalchuk's goal, but former Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov allowed a goal less than 90 seconds later to quiet the home crowd. Ovechkin had three shots on goal during 18:30 of ice time.

During Russia's five games, Ovechkin had one goal and one assist. Both points came during Russia's first game, a 5-2 victory against Slovenia Feb. 13.

Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer, went without a point during Russia's past four games. He had 20 total shots on goal during those four games.

Meanwhile, Capitals John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson are still playing.

Carlson and the United States beat the Czech Republic, 5-2, during a quarterfinal game Feb. 19. That means Martin Erat, the fifth Capitals player on an Olympic squad, is headed back to Washington, D.C. Carlson got 9:13 of ice time during the victory.

The tournament's four remaining teams play during the semifinals Feb. 21.

The United States will play Canada, while Sweden will take on Finland. The gold-medal game will be Feb. 23.

Sweden beat Slovenia, 5-0, Feb. 19 to advance to the semifinals. Backstrom had an assist on Loui Eriksson's third-period goal, which increased Sweden's lead to 3-0.

Johansson had 15:29 of ice time and was whistled for slashing during the third period.

The Capitals returned to practice sessions Feb. 19 and their next game will be Feb. 27 at the Florida Panthers.

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