Evgeny Malkin scored a hat-trick to help Russia’s hockey squad destroy co-hosts and title holders Finland 6-2 and progress to the World Championship final.
The Finns were first to score on the eighth minute of the semifinal match in Helsinki.
Janne Niskala fired from the blue line and the puck ricocheted from one from the stick of one of the Russian player to leave keeper Semyon Varlamov no chance, 0-1.
But Team Russia were 2-1 up going into the first break and they had Evgeny Malkin to thank for that.
He first skated from behind the Finnish goals to equalize for the Red Machine and then gave his team the lead, capitalizing on a clever assist from Nikolay Zherdev.
The Russian coaches and fans had a worrying moment in the middle of the second 20 minutes as Malkin crashed into the side rink at top speed, leaving the ice nursing his hand.
Geno was being treated in the dressing room when Aleksandr Ovechkin made it 3-1, beating home keeper Petri Vehanen with one of his trademark shots.
The doctors did their job well as Malkin was back on the ice several minutes later.
And on the 38th minute, the hats were flying at Hartwall Arena as the Pittsburgh Penguins star scored his third goal of the night on powerplay, 4-1.
It was the second hat-trick at the Worlds for the 25-year-old, after he netted three in the clash against other co-host Sweden in the group stages.
Russia’s fifth goal came on the opening minute of the third period, with Denis Kokarev adding his name to the scoreboard.
After Sergey Shirokov made it 6-1 for Zinetula Bilyaletdinov's men on 49th minute the disappointed Finish fans began leaving the arena.
But the home team didn’t give up playing and it was the Suomi’s Mikael Granlund, who settled the final score of 6-2.
“The whole team played great, not only me,” Malkin told Sport-Express newspaper. “We deserved this victory, giving everything away for the whole 60 minutes.”
The player also allayed fans’ concerns by saying his injury is not serious.
“I just had no time to regroup,” he stressed. “Everything happened at a high speed. I got tripped and couldn’t avoid hitting my arm. Thank God, it’s OK and I’ll help the national team in the final.”
Team Russia will take on Slovakia’s national squad in the final on Sunday.
Vladimir Vujtek’s men dealt with neighbors from Czech Republic 3-1 in the other semifinal.
The score was level at 1-1 after two periods, but Miroslav Satan returned the lead to the Slovaks on the very first minute following the restart.
The Czech’s went looking for an equalizer, but Libor Hudacek produced some great individual skills to seal the deal for the Slovakia, 3-1.