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Canada shut down Russia's Alex Ovechkin in 7-3 win

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The Olympic hockey gold medal Alex Ovechkin wanted is out of his reach now.

To win it at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the two-time NHL MVP may have to leave the Washington Capitals and head home.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said the league might not decide until 2012 or later if its players can participate in those games.

Ovechkin said he would go anyway — despite a $124 million, 13-year contract with the Caps.

Canada humiliated Russia 7-3 in Wednesday's men's quarterfinal.

The Canadians seemed to rattle Ovechkin by hitting him early and often in a fast-and-furious game that sent the once-mighty Russians packing.

He had just three shots — none after the second period — and a minus-2 rating in a team-high 21 minutes.

"Canada was trying to play close to him," Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov said through an interpreter.

The first time Ovechkin flicked the puck toward Roberto Luongo, defenseman Shea Weber deflected it to the corner, and another rush was stunted by charging forward Brendan Morrow.

Weber later checked Ovechkin and Drew Doughty knocked him to the ice in a corner.

"You have to limit his time and space," Canadian defenseman Chris Pronger said. "He's so creative that he needs just a small window to get it to the net."

The hits weren't as spectacular as Ovechkin's open-ice smackdown on Jaromir Jagr or the blows he put on Zdeno Chara in earlier games, but they were just as effective.

Ovechkin did have room to work at times, but he was off the mark, sending a shot high and wide that hit the glass in the first period.

"There was so much potential," Ovechkin said. "We missed so many scoring chances."

When it was clear Canada was going to win in the third, fans started to mock Ovechkin with "OOOOOOO-VI!" chants.

Ovechkin hurt his right pinkie finger trying to catch Jonathan Towes' shot late in the game and had to put ice on it.

He returned to play and was on the ice for the finals seconds.

Ovechkin has said he plans to lobby Bettman to let him play in Sochi.

"I hope Gary is going to say, 'I agree. NHL players have to go there,'" Ovechkin said Tuesday night in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm going to say something to him."