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Silfverberg, Sweden Advance to Gold Medal Game with 2-1 Win Over Selanne, Vatanen and Finland

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 6:55 AM PT / News
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Silfverberg, Sweden Advance to Gold Medal Game with 2-1 Win Over Selanne, Vatanen and Finland
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By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- With a valiant run for his home country, Teemu Selanne and Finland will not be competing for the gold medal.

Led by goals by Loui Eriksson and Erik Karlsson and 25 saves from Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden defeated archrival Finland (featuring Selanne and Ducks teammate Sami Vatanen) 2-1 in the semifinals Friday of the 2014 Sochi Olympics and will play for the gold medal Sunday.

Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg and the Swedes will face Canada or the United States, which plays in the second semifinal (Noon ET, NBCSN, CBC), and will have the chance to claim gold for the second time in three Olympics.

It was the 76th time Sweden and Finland have played in the IIHF World Championships or the Olympics. Sweden now holds a 44-17-15 edge, and has won the past three meetings in the Olympics, including victories in the preliminary round four years ago in Vancouver and in the gold medal game eight years ago in Turin.

Winnipeg Jets forward Olli Jokinen opened the scoring for Finland with his second goal of the tournament at 6:17 of the second period. Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen sent the puck out of his zone and into the left corner in Sweden's end, but a linesman waived off icing.

Jokinen won the race to the puck and snapped a shot that leaked through Lundqvist and across the goal line. The goal initially was waived off, but after a quick review the goal stood and Finland had a 1-0 lead.

The Finns controlled more of the play after the goal but Eriksson tied the game less than five minutes later. Nicklas Backstrom sent a pass from beyond the goal line to Jonathan Ericsson, who fed Eriksson at the far side of the net for his second goal of the tournament at 11:39.

Finland had four of the first five power plays in this game but could not convert, including a 5-on-3 for 1:35 in the first period. Sweden got a second man advantage late in the second period and cashed in for the lead.

Karlsson ripped a shot from the top of the offensive zone that ticked off goaltender Kari Lehtonen's right arm and under the crossbar. It was Karlsson's fourth goal of the tournament. He also has eight points, which tied him with Phil Kessel of the United States for the lead.

Lehtonen was a surprise starter for this game. The Dallas Stars netminder had to step in because Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was ruled out with an illness. Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks dressed as the backup.

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was dressed as Sweden's seventh defenseman but did not play. Ekman-Larsson's ice time has been reduced significantly since Alexander Edler of the Vancouver Canucks returned to the lineup after finishing a suspension that carried over from the 2013 World Championship.


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 25 45 15 70
C. Perry 67 33 22 13 55
R. Kesler 81 20 27 -5 47
J. Silfverberg 81 13 26 15 39
S. Vatanen 67 12 25 5 37
P. Maroon 71 9 25 -5 34
C. Fowler 80 7 27 4 34
H. Lindholm 78 7 27 25 34
M. Beleskey 65 22 10 13 32
R. Rakell 71 9 22 6 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 35 12 5 .914 2.38
J. Gibson 13 8 0 .914 2.60

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