By John Vogl
Alex Ovechkin couldn't help Russia overcome a dominant American attack today as the big games at the hockey world championships began.
The United States routed Russia, 8-3, in the opening quarterfinal in Helsinki, Finland. Colorado's Paul Stastny scored twice and added two assists to lead the Americans, who advanced to the semifinals.
Ovechkin arrived in Finland on Wednesday after his Washington Capitals were eliminated, and he scored once and added an assist.
The other quarterfinal games today are: Switzerland against Czech Republic; Finland versus Slovakia; and Canada against Sweden.
The Swiss-Czech game is on NBC Sports Network now, while the next two games will be televised live at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
The final game features Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth against his old coach, Lindy Ruff, who is the bench boss for Canada. Enroth is 3-1-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.
Slovakia boasts Buffalo defenseman Andrej Sekera, who has one assist and is minus-3 in seven games, and former Sabres sniper Miroslav Satan, who has a goal and two assists in seven games.