After yesterday’s win against Slovakia, the Russians decided not to skip their practice on their day off.

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“We won’t have a morning skate tomorrow, so today’s practice was very important.” Evgeni Malkin said. “Because some changes to the lines were made, it was important to practice. Kovalchuk is injured, so he didn’t practice. But everyone else was here, skating.”

As soon as the players were on the ice Ilya Kovalchuk’s absence became a concern. As a reminder, Kovalchuk fell awkwardly after colliding with a Slovakian player in the second period of the game on Sunday. Kovalchuk tried to skate the injury off, but was taken to the locker room midway through the period, but returned for the start of the third and scored for Russia in the shootout. The coaching staff decided to rest Kovalchuk today as a precaution, but Coach Bilyaletdinov said after practice that Kovalchuk will play against Norway.

One of the biggest changes that emerged is the demotion of Alexander Semin from the Malkin-Ovechkin line to the third line to Artem Anisimov and Nikolai Kulemin. That also meant the demotion to the fourth line for Vladimir Tarasenko. Alexander Popov jumped from the fourth line straight to the right wing of Malkin and Ovechkin.