Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 

Sweden Won't be Overlooking Underdog Slovenia

Tuesday, 02.18.2014 / 6:00 PM / News
X
Share with your Friends


Sweden Won\'t be Overlooking Underdog Slovenia
What\'s at stake: Slovenia will be looking to add to its improbable run at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, its first appearance in an Olympic hockey tournament. Sweden, meanwhile, will be looking to do what\'s expected of it and that is advance to the semifinals on the way to a third appearance on the medal podium in the six Olympics that have included NHL players.
By Sean McCullen | NHL.com

SLOVENIA vs. SWEDEN

When: Wednesday, 3 a.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: Slovenia will be looking to add to its improbable run at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, its first appearance in an Olympic hockey tournament. Sweden, meanwhile, will be looking to do what's expected of it and that is advance to the semifinals on the way to a third appearance on the medal podium in the six Olympics that have included NHL players.

Slovenia earned its first-ever Olympic win Saturday with a 3-1 victory against Slovakia, and then bounced back from a 5-1 loss to the United States on Sunday with a 4-0 victory against Austria in a qualification playoff game Tuesday. The latest win allowed Slovenia to advance to the quarterfinals of a major world hockey tournament for the first time.

Slovenia: Anze Kopitar, the lone current NHL player on the roster, got the team going against Austria. The Los Angeles Kings forward scored at 5:29 of the first period for a 1-0 lead and Slovenia never looked back.

"Three days ago they said it was the biggest win, against Slovakia, in Slovenian history," Slovenia's Sabahudin Kovacevic told the IIHF website. "But now, I think this one is the biggest."

Goalie Robert Kristan stopped all 30 shots he faced, including a post-to-post glove save on Austria forward Michael Grabner in the first period, to earn the shutout. He has allowed one goal in his past two starts.

Sweden: Despite losing three of their top forwards to injuries, including captain Henrik Zetterberg, the Swedes finished preliminary-round play unbeaten to earn the top seed heading into the quarterfinals.

Even after finishing with three regulation wins in the preliminary round, Sweden knows it has to be better if it's going to atone for its disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The players were not happy after a 5-3 win against Latvia on Saturday.

"The most important thing is we won our three games here," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "We took care of business. But I think facing a really good team in the quarterfinal we'll have to improve a lot."

The Swedes also can look to past upsets in the quarterfinal round, including a 2002 loss to Belarus, to know they can't overlook underdog Slovenia.

"I don't think I need to tell them anything about that after the group games we've had," said forward Daniel Alfredsson, who was on that 2002 team. "We are going to be the favorites, no doubt about that, so it's just about balancing our energy the right way.

"We can't focus on what we have to lose, but on what we can win."

What’s next: The winner will play in the semifinals Friday; the loser will go home. The semifinal opponent is yet to be determined, but will come from the winner of the quarterfinal game between Finland and Russia.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 34 22 7 5 99 90 49
2 CHI 32 22 9 1 100 64 45
3 STL 32 21 9 2 98 78 44
4 NSH 30 20 8 2 81 59 42
5 SJS 33 18 11 4 94 85 40
6 VAN 31 18 11 2 89 88 38
7 WPG 32 16 10 6 78 75 38
8 LAK 33 16 11 6 90 82 38
9 CGY 33 17 14 2 97 90 36
10 MIN 30 16 12 2 86 78 34
11 DAL 30 12 13 5 87 103 29
12 COL 31 10 13 8 78 99 28
13 ARI 31 11 16 4 72 100 26
14 EDM 33 7 20 6 69 110 20

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 33 10 25 7 35
R. Kesler 34 11 15 0 26
S. Vatanen 34 9 15 2 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 34 15 3 12 18
C. Fowler 33 3 14 1 17
J. Silfverberg 34 4 12 6 16
H. Lindholm 34 4 11 12 15
P. Maroon 26 2 12 -6 14
D. Smith-Pelly 31 4 8 3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 18 5 4 .913 2.41

AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Contact Us    Jobs     Honda Center    Corporate Partnerships   Terms of Use   NHL TicketExchange  Site Map AdChoices