But Russia had good reason to feel hard done by after falling to defeat in a pulsating clash with the United States, for whom TJ Oshie finally put away the 16th game-winning shot of an extended shoot-out after a 2-2 draw.
Russia had waited 34 years to avenge the so-called 'Miracle On Ice', when an American squad made up largely of collegiate players beat the big red Soviet machine in Lake Placid.
Even Vladimir Putin and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach turned up to join a roaring 12,000-capacity crowd in the state-of-the-art Bolshoy Ice Dome on the Sochi Olympic Park.
They bore witness to a game-changing moment with four minutes remaining in the third and final period, when a strike from Fedor Tyutin was ruled out, apparently because the net was slightly off its moorings.
Tyutin's goal would have left the Russians in command of a match they had largely dominated, but instead the US clung on for overtime, in which Patrick Kane missed a glorious one-on-one chance with Russian netminder Sergey Bobrovski.
The match went to a shootout, in which Oshie twice had the chance to win it for the US before finally confirming victory with his sixth shot, after Ilya Kovalchuk had missed for the home side.
Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said of the incident: "What can I do? If this is a mistake of the judges, there are people that will find it. The referees made a mistake, yes, but we need to prepare for the next match.
"It's very sad that the referees didn't count it, but the referees looked at the video and made this decision. That means that's the way it was."
The atmosphere inside the Bolshoy Ice Dome had been intense from the start, even before the decision raised the decibel level up a few further notches. And although both teams had publicly distanced themselves from events 34 years ago, the lingering desire for revenge on home soil was obvious.
Pavel Datsyuk, the Russian captain and one of only two players on either team to have even been alive when the 'Miracle On Ice' occurred, opened the scoring after 29.15, shortly after Putin's arrival at the venue.
Cam Fowler dampened the extraordinary atmosphere when he equalised on 36:34, and when Joe Pavelski made it 2-1 to the US with a powerplay goal after nine minutes and 27 seconds of the third period, it was the Americans who looked set to take the honours again.
But the Russians were dominant, Datsyuk ending a spell of pressure by flipping an equaliser past US netminder Jonathan Quick, then Tyutin lashing what appeared to be the likely winner past Quick minutes later - only for the goal to be ruled out after extensive discussions between officials.
Incensed, the Russian fans roared their team towards a winner, but it was Kane who almost stole it in overtime before the dramatic shootout.
The result was hard on Russia, who had started their campaign on Thursday with a 5-2 win over Slovenia, while the US are still unbeaten after a 7-1 opener against Slovakia.
Continuing the Cold War, even US coach Dan Bylsma appeared to have words of consolation.
"I didn't get an explanation on the no goal call, so I'm not sure what the reasoning was," said Bylsma.
"I was pretty sure that the puck had gone in the net, but didn't know and saw the official wave it off. Fortunate for us, obviously."