Simen Hegstad Krueger seized the lead from the Russians in the third leg before Johannes Høsflot Klæbo finished in 21min 54.3sec to seal victory over the Russians by 9.4sec.
France took bronze, nearly 37 seconds adrift. The ninth gold medal for Norway -- five of them in cross country -- put them joint top of the medals table alongside Germany. Norway leads Germany in the overall medal race, 26 to 18.
Russia topped the medals table when they hosted the last Winter Olympics in 2014 Sochi, at what was later revealed as the height of a systemic doping operation.
Halfway through the Pyeongchang Games, the 168 Russian athletes cleared to compete as neutrals have two silver medals and seven bronze between them.