Russia's 6-2 victory over Finland in Saturday's world hockey championships semifinal was flattering, hat-trick hero Evgeni Malkin said.
Malkin's hat-trick contributed to a brutal revenge over a team that dumped the Russians out of last year's semifinal in Bratislava.
"The score, of course, doesn't reflect the game," said Malkin, who took his championships tally to 10 goals and eight assists.
The Finns, he said, "had a great start, played well in the first period, it was hard."
"We were equal on shots and chances. But we performed great on a power play, scored twice and had luck on our side."
Malkin confessed to a lack of psychological preparation for Thursday's 5-2 quarterfinal defeat of Norway, but admitted on Saturday it was different.
"Maybe I was a bit underprepared mentally for the quarterfinal, subconsciously you anyway think that the Norwegians are weaker and everything starts in your head.
"Today everything was at stake, medals in the first place, the honor of the country, that's why, probably, I prepared more seriously and that's where the result came from."
It was Malkin's second hat-trick of the tournament; his first came in a 7-3 demolition of Sweden in the group stage.
During the third period Malkin left the ice clutching his right arm after crashing into the boards following a seemingly innocuous coming together with Joonas Jarvinen.
He returned five minutes later to score his third goal. According to the Russian, there's "nothing bad" with his arm, though it had to be "frozen a bit."
"I just had a little time to brace myself and that's why it happened, I hit a bit unluckily," Malkin said.
Malkin flew to the national team at the end of April, immediately after his Pittsburgh Penguins crashed out of the first round of the playoffs with a 4-2 series loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Russia is to face the winner of another Saturday semifinal between the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 20 May.