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World Cup of Hockey: Murray chased versus Russia

Matt Murray and Team North America have a rocky second period that costs them the game against Evgeni Malkin and Team Russia

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Looking back at last night's game between Matt Murray and Team North America against Evgeni Malkin and Team Russia.


Early in the game, it was all TNA and for as much as there have been crappy technological developments in this tournament (like the CGI generated ads), there's also some cool developments like the ref cam. Great view of 2015 #1 pick Connor McDavid passing it over to 2016 #1 pick Auston Matthews for the game's first goal.

However, in the second the game would turn. In a one minute span the Russians scored 2 goals, with Alex Ovechkin even hitting a post in between. The first goal saw Murray make a save from point-blank range, but kicked a rebound back to the middle of the ice where Vladislav Namestnikov could backhand a puck that hit the post, deflected back and clicked off Murray's toe and into the net.

Then Ovechkin would hit the post, as mentioned above, on a nice passing play from the Russians who were suddenly pressing hard. They would earn an offensive zone faceoff soon after that Malkin actually lost cleanly, but when Jacob Trouba threw the puck up the glass, it somehow took a weird bounce and fell down right in front of Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov wasted no time to bat the puck pass Murray and just inside the post to make it 2-1 Russia.

As ESPN showed later, Murray would get his thumb (blocker/stick side) taped up at the following TV timeout but would stay in the game. We'll see if it's a big deal or not, hopefully not broken or anything like that.

Soon thereafter on a 4v4, Evgeni Kuznetsov blows by Morgan Reilly and chips a puck past Murray to make it 3-1. 3 goals on 3 straight Russian shots. A mix of bad luck and unfortunate plays that Murray hasn't endured too much of, but better to give this type of goal up to Kuznetsov (0 goals in playoff series) in September than May.

Murray's night would end after a crafty play by Pavel Datsyuk backed the TNA defense up, then got a screen on the net and Vladimir Tarasenko put a quick release past Murray who never saw it. A furious rush by Russia puts them up 4-1 and sends Murray to the bench for PA native John Gibson. TNA mounts a comeback but their bid falls short.

TNA gets Sweden on Wednesday in what could be a must win matchup for them to advance to the next round. It remains to be seen if Murray or Gibson will be in the net for that game.