In an exhibition game that pitted the New York Rangers against Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. I watched a little bit on the NHL Network and the Metallurg team jumped to a 3-0 lead and looked as if the Rangers were down and out. But 4 unanswered goals including a late third period break away goal by Ryan Callahan gave the Rangers the win 4-3 and the Victoria Cup.
In a game that was purely exhibition, both sides played with a great deal of passion. It was rumored that the Russian team promised each player $100,000 if they defeated the Rangers, and they were close to coughing up over $2 million for the win. But the Rangers were able to rebound.
The conditioning of the NHL seems to be the deciding factor, because this Metallurg team was right in it until the end. At the award ceremony after the game the Russian team looked clearly upset, some even crying. While the Rangers won the Russian league team did not look out of place during the game, with some spectacular plays made by both teams. Andrei Mezin, the goaltender for Metallurg, I thought played very well. Chris Drury scored two goals including the game tying goal.
We have pondered that a couple of games between the NHL and the KHL may not be a bad thing. If NHL players will not longer be apart of the Olympics that this maybe an alternative to seeing some great worldwide talent play meaningful games.
On a side note, the Victoria Cup looks pretty cheap. It has a silver (I assume plastic) base and several clear plastic hockey sticks arranged out the top. And it lights up, weird. They also gave out medals which most of the Metallurg players took off right after they had been awarded them.