Crosby still has no goals through five games in Sochi, but the Canadian captain had his best overall game as Canada beat the Americans for the fourth time in five Olympic meetings since the NHL players joined the party in 1998. The showdown might have been the last Olympic meeting of these nations' best players for a long while if the NHL keeps players out of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, forcing the rivalry to move to a World Cup or world championship.
The Americans still haven't won Olympic gold since the Miracle on Ice in a drought that will be at 38 years by the next Olympics, no matter who's wearing the U.S. uniform there.
"I think it was maybe a little too perimeter and not much traffic in front of their net," U.S. forward David Backes said. "Kudos to them for keeping us to the outside, but we've got to find ways to get to the inside and make things happens."
For all the talent and high stakes on the ice, the Bolshoy wasn't exactly rocking for the game, with the predominantly Russian crowd apparently struggling to decide whom to root against.
The scoreless first period was still fast and exciting, with Quick stopping 16 Canadian shots. Crosby shook off his early-tournament struggles and played at a breakneck pace, while the American forwards generated numerous chances on pure speed.
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