Ovechkin scores 2 to help Russia beat Latvia 8-2
Alex Ovechkin scored late in the first period to give the Russians a three-goal lead and early in the third to restore a four-goal cushion to set up an 8-2 rout against Latvia on Tuesday night.
The Latvians avoided a shutout when Herberts Vasiljevs scored in the opening seconds of the final period.
The Russians responded with two goals - including Danis Zaripov's second - in less than a minute to restore order in their Vancouver Games opener.
Russia's Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves, and Edgars Masalskis stopped 37 shots for Latvia.
The Russians are a popular pick to win Olympic gold for the first time since 1992. They have some of the NHL's top talent on their roster and loaded up the team with many players from the KHL.