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Canada Claims No. 3 Seed after 2-1 Overtime Victory Against Finland

Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 11:49 AM PT / News
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Canada Claims No. 3 Seed after 2-1 Overtime Victory Against Finland
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By Arpon Basu | NHL.com

SOCHI -- Canada's biggest offensive weapon allowed his country to finish in first place in Group B at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

And it's not who many would have thought would be filling that role.

Defenseman Drew Doughty scored his second goal of the game and team-leading fourth of the tournament at 2:32 of overtime to give Canada a 2-1 win against Finland at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Sunday, closing the preliminary round of competition.

Doughty, playing on the left side in overtime with Shea Weber, skated down the left wing and took a pass from his Los Angeles Kings teammate Jeff Carter and then taking a wrist shot that beat Tuukka Rask to give Canada the victory.

With the overtime win Canada claimed the third seed and a bye into the quarterfinals Wednesday. They'll face the winner of the qualification-round game Tuesday between Switzerland and Latvia.

Finland is the fourth seed and also earned a bye into the quarterfinals as the top second-place finisher. They'll face the winner of the Tuesday qualification game between host Russia and Norway.

Rask bounced back from a rough Olympic debut in an 8-4 win against Austria, making 25 saves.

His Canadian counterpart Carey Price, who regularly faces Rask's Boston Bruins with the Montreal Canadiens, made 13 saves in regulation and one in overtime.

Canada has 11 of the top 15 scorers in the NHL among its 14 forwards on the roster. Despite that, Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Finland limited Canada to four goals in regulation time in two games.

Canada thought it had taken the lead at 7:58 of the first period on an extremely rare play.

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo took a shot that bounced in the air and landed on top of the Finnish net. Rick Nash took a swipe at the puck, knocking it off the net, off Rask's back and into the goal.

A video review, however, determined the puck was knocked in with a high stick and the goal was disallowed.

Rule 481 of the International Ice Hockey Federation case book deals specifically with instances of the puck being on top of the net and states: "If the player knocked the puck off without a high sticking infraction and he was not in the goal crease at the moment the puck dropped into the crease, the goal shall be allowed."

However, there is some question as to whether or not Nash actually hit the puck with his stick or if he simply hit the net and caused the puck to bounce off, and it's somewhat unclear whether or not that's relevant.

Canada ultimately did take the lead less than five minutes later.

Doughty got the puck near the top of the circle and wound up a wrist shot that beat an unscreened Rask high to the stick side at 13:44, one Rask likely would want to see again.

He made up for it shortly afterwards when Patrick Sharp stole the puck deep in the Finnish zone and cut hard to the net and set Chris Kunitz up in the slot. Kunitz took a quick shot against the grain and Rask came up with a very difficult glove save at 15:04 of the first.

The second period went just as the Finns would have liked with very few chances for either side until they tied it up late.

Tuomo Ruutu went to the front of the net and was engaged in a battle for position with Marc-Edouard Vlasic when Ossi Vaananen let go of a shot from the blue line. While battling with Vlasic, Ruutu was able to get a stick on the shot and tip the puck past Price at 18:00 of the second to tie the game 1-1.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
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11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07
A. Khudobin 3 3 0 .909 2.70

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