Sochi, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Alexander Radulov recorded two goals and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky posted a shutout to lead Russia into the quarterfinals on Tuesday with a 4-0 win over Norway at the Sochi Olympics.
Captain Pavel Datsyuk added three assists to help the Russians take down the Norwegians and set up a quarterfinal matchup against Finland on Wednesday. The Finns received a bye to the quarterfinals after posting a second-place finish in Group B.
Bobrovsky, a goaltender for the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, made 22 saves to keep the Norwegians off the scoreboard. It was the first win of the tournament for Bobrovsky, who was a tough-luck loser in 3-2 shootout loss to the United States in group play.
The host Russians are under enormous pressure to win gold in Sochi and they are hoping to take the same road Canada used en route to its Olympic title at the 2010 Vancouver Games. The Canadians were the sixth overall seed coming out of the preliminary round four years ago in Vancouver, but still went on to capture the gold medal.
Lars Haugen stopped 27-of-30 shots in the loss. Norway failed to record a single win in four games at the Sochi Olympics and was outscored by a 16-3 margin in the tournament.
Norway played Tuesday without forward Mats Zuccarello, the lone NHLer on the team's roster. The New York Ranger missed the contest due to a hand injury. Zuccarello failed to score in any of Norway's three games in the group stage.
Russia opened a 1-0 lead early in the second period on Radulov's goal at the 4:12 mark. Radulov charged through the neutral zone and down the right wing before wheeling around the net and sending a backhand shot on net. The puck hit off the skate of Norway's Morten Ask before finding its way into the net.
The goal was the first for Russia, not including shootouts, in 101 minutes, 28 seconds. The Russians dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the United States on Saturday and followed with a 1-0 shootout win over Slovakia to end group play on Sunday.
Norway was whistled for a penalty 1:35 after Radulov's goal, but Russia was unable to convert on the ensuing man advantage. The Russians had plenty of offensive zone time on the power play, but couldn't get one past Haugen.
However, Russia was able to extend the lead to 2-0 later in the second period. Radulov received a pass from Datsyuk in the left circle and hit the post with a backhand attempt. The puck then hit off Haugen's back and briefly stayed out of the net until Ilya Kovalchuk knocked it across the line from the right side of the crease.
Vladimir Tarasenko had a chance to extend the Russian lead to three goals, but he was stopped by Haugen on a breakaway with just under four minutes gone in the third period.
Alex Ovechkin missed a breakaway attempt later in the third period. The Washington Capitals superstar appeared to be tripped by a Norwegian player on the breakaway, but no call was made.
The Russians started slowly, firing just seven shots on net in a scoreless opening period. Norway had six shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes and both teams failed to convert on a power-play opportunity in the first.
Russia padded its cushion with a pair of goals in the final two minutes of play. Radulov recorded an empty-net goal with 1:07 remaining and Alexei Tereshenko scored with the goaltender back in the game just 27 seconds later.