In the 2nd period of Russia’s World Cup exhibition game against the United States, Montreal Canadien’s defenseman Andrei Markov was forced to leave the game after Bill Guerin elbowed him in the face. Markov went down to the ice and had to be helped off the ice. The extent of the injury is unknown, but he did not return in the 3rd period. Guerin served a 2 minute penalty for the elbow.
Minutes later, Darius Kasparaitis got into a tussle with Keith Tkachuk. Later in the third period, Sergei Gonchar and Chris Drury dropped the gloves, an unlikely battle to say the least. Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev (UFA) also got into the physical play, sending Steve Konowalchuk to the ice with a hard check. Konowalchuk retaliated by giving Kovalev a soft slash to the back of the leg.
The United States won the game 2-0. Goals were scored by John Michael-Liles and Brett Hull. Rick DiPietro played a strong first for the US, while Robert Esche played brilliantly in the 2nd and 3rd periods, completely shutting down the Russians.