Olympic Hockey: Sweden, Switzerland Win on Day One

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 3:35 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski

Sweden and Switzerland were the winners as play began Wednesday in Men’s Olympic Hockey at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia.

Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson scored two goals to lead Sweden to a 4-2 victory over Czech Republic in Group C. Patrik Berglund and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Swedes. Sweden took control of the game midway through the first when Karlsson and Berglund scored goals three minutes apart. Zetterberg and Karlsson scored early in the second to extend the lead to 4-0. New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 of 29 shots for Sweden. Marek Zidlicky and Jaromir Jagr scored for the Czechs.

In Wednesday’s other game, Simon Moser scored with 7.9 seconds left in regulation to break a scoreless tie and lift Switzerland to a 1-0 victory over Latvia in Group C. Moser’s centering pass from behind the goal line was deflected into the net off a Latvian defender. Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller stopped all 21 shots he faced to earn the shutout for Switzerland. Edgars Masalskis was superb in net for Latvia, stopping 38 of 39 shots.

The rest of the tournament field begins play on Thursday.

Stars Notes

*Stars captain Jamie Benn and Canada will begin play at the Olympics on Thursday when they take on Norway in the tournament opener for both teams. Benn is expected to play left wing on Canada’s fourth line with New York Islanders’ captain John Tavares at center and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on the right wing. Benn will see a different role than he sees in Dallas, and he is fine with that.

“I think I’m going to see a lot more of a PK role, checking line,” Benn told NBC Sports. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected to be the backup for Finland when it takes on Austria in its opening game of the tournament on Thursday. Boston’s Tuukka Rask will start in goal for the Finns.

*Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin will be a healthy scratch for Russia Thursday when it plays its first game of the tournament against Slovenia. Nichushkin hasn’t been skating on a line in Russia’s practices in Sochi.

“We are likely to play the first game with the lines that we trained with today,” Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov told RSport. “We plan that [Alexander] Svitov and Nichushkin won’t play.”

Wednesday’s results

Sweden 4, Czech Republic 2
Switzerland 1, Latvia 0

Thursday’s games

Finland vs. Austria, 2:00 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Russia vs. Slovenia, 6:30 a.m., MSNBC
Slovakia vs. United States, 6:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Canada vs. Norway, 11:00 a.m., USA Network

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 2 1 1 -1 2
C. Sceviour 2 1 1 0 2
A. Chiasson 2 1 1 -3 2
T. Seguin 2 1 0 0 1
R. Garbutt 2 1 0 1 1
S. Horcoff 2 0 1 1 1
T. Daley 2 0 1 -1 1
A. Goligoski 2 0 1 1 1
J. Benn 2 0 1 1 1
A. Roussel 2 0 1 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 0 2 0 .870 3.56
 
 
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