Sweden survives last minute push by Russia to win opener

The Swedish national team was dealt a blow before the puck dropped in their first tournament game. They’d be without preeminent No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who came down with an illness before the game.

Instead, it was Jacob Markstrom’s net. For 59:33, he had a shutout against the always offensively dangerous Russians. With a little good fortune going the Swedes way, they won the opener 2-1.

The first period between Team Sweden and Team Russia showcased the first real competitive hockey of the tournament; however, the goaltenders held court. Markstrom made eight saves against the Russians, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 10 shots from the Swedes.

In the second period, with the score tied at zero, Patric Hornqvist appeared to have the first goal on his stick. Bobrovsky turned him away with the glove hand.


A hooking penalty by Vadim Shipachyov put the Swedes on the their second power play of the game.

Just four seconds into the their man advantage, Team Sweden takes the 1-0 lead.

Nicklas Backstrom wins the faceoff back to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson dishes a perfect pass to the waiting Gabriel Landeskog for the one-timer.


Just over of two minutes later, the Swedes increased their league.

Grabbing the puck along the boards, Carl Hagelin sees Victor Hedman pinching. Three red jerseys could not stop the defenseman in the seam.


The frustration set in for the Russians.

Carl Soderberg was whistled for interference on Alex Ovechkin. Instead of putting Team Russia on the power play, Ovi went off for embellishment.


The period ended with the Swedes up 2-0.

In the third, the Swedes had the opportunity to increase their lead when Ovechkin took a slashing penalty well away from the play. They could not convert.

Leave it to the Russians for the dramatic finish.

With 1:23 left on the clock, Bobrovsky is pulled for the extra attacker. Just shy of a minute later, Ovechkin whips the puck from near the blue line. It goes through a couple sets of Swedish legs before clanging off the post and in. Russia cuts the Swedes lead in half.


Russia poured on the pressure as the seconds ticked down.

At the seven-second mark, Ovechkin appeared to have scored the game tying goal. The officials disagree, instantly waiving off the goal.

Ovi did his best to convince the official he did not bat the puck in with his glove, but with his stick.

The play was sent to the World Cup Situation Room. Since it was called ‘no goal’ on the ice, the officials had to have definitive evidence to overturn it.

Long story short, they didn’t.

It looks like Ovi batted the puck down but it didn’t hit his stick before it went in the net. Darren Pang on ESPN pointed out the puck may have deflected off of the Swedish defender’s stick. Doesn’t matter though, no goal for Team Russia.

If you’re curious what it’s like to be yelled at by an NHL player, check out Ovi barking after the no goal call. (Lipreading is NSFW.)


In the remaining seconds, the two teams skated out the puck. Team Sweden takes game one.

They’ll play bitter rival Team Finland on Tuesday. Markstrom held up pretty well until the end when everything collapsed around him. It’ll be interesting to see if the Swedes go back to Lundqvist against the weaker Finns.

Russia plays Team North America on Monday. Bobrovsky had a pretty good game, too. Who knows if he’ll be in net against the kids.