TORONTO — Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk was scratched from Saturday's World Cup of Hockey semifinal against Canada with a lower-body injury.
The injury also kept Datsyuk out of Russia's final preliminary round game against Finland. The 38-year-old, who left the Detroit Red Wings for the KHL this past summer, was on the ice for his team's morning skate on Saturday, but evidently was not healthy enough to suit up against the Canadians.
Datsyuk had two assists in the first two games of the tournament.
His absence weakens a Russian lineup that's already facing an uphill battle against the favoured Canadians. Canada gave up just three goals in winning all three games of the preliminary round and has trailed for only 89 seconds.
Russian captain Alex Ovechkin said it was key for his team to manage the Canadians' speed and try to play more offence than defence, if possible. He added that Russia needed to be cognizant of Canada's "big" and "powerful" forwards around the net.
"I think they're going to try to play their style of game and we have to match it and we have to dictate our style of game," Ovechkin said.
Canada and Russia last met at a best-on-best tournament in the quarter-finals of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The Canadians beat the Russians 7-3 before going on to win the gold medal.