Russian win is marked by role reversal 

It was like watching bizarro hockey. For one afternoon at least, bitter rivals became teammates and teammates became bitter rivals.

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin took to the ice for Russia on Sunday, while Capitals teammate Tomas Fleischmann did the same for the Czech Republic. At stake was the Group B title and a bye into the ice hockey quarterfinals.

They might be friends in Washington. But there was no love lost between the two sides in Vancouver as the two teams hammered each other for 60 minutes. In the end, Russia came away with a 4-2 victory thanks in part to a crushing hit at center ice by Ovechkin on Czech Republic star Jaromir Jagr. That led to a turnover and the eventual game-winning goal.

Semin and Ovechkin's line combined for two goals, which was impressive considering they had to adjust to a new center. His name? Evgeni Malkin, who plays for the rival Pittsburgh Penguins -- the team that eliminated the Caps from the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring.

It's country over team in Vancouver, though, and Malkin and Ovechkin have long buried their personal feud of two years ago. Ovechkin assisted on Malkin's power-play goal in the first period. Semin skated onto Jagr's turnover early in the third period and found Malkin with a beautiful cross-ice pass for Russia's third goal and his second of the game. Ovechkin finished with two assists in all. Fleischmann was a -1 on the day and fanned on two quality scoring chances early.

About The Author

Brian McNally


I've been given the chance to write about some of the best athletes in the world. Can't imagine a job more fun than that.
Teams I cover » Capitals, Nationals
Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14

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