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Sweden Powers Into Gold Medal Game

By Andy Graziano

Courtesy NBC and Facebook

The team that wears gold (well, sort of) is now one step closer to it.

Team Sweden squeaked by Team Finland today by a score of 2-1 as Henrik Lunqvist of the New York Rangers (25 saves) and the penalty killing (5 for 5) came up big.

Without both Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg, the Swedes struggled offensively, with Finland clamping down in the larger neutral zone and really playing a disciplined defensive style.

After it was learned that starting goaltender Tuuka Rask of the Boston Bruins was suffering from illness, Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars stepped in and did a tremendous job, playing under the brightest lights.

Ultimately, it would be the power play that would let Teemu Selanne and the Fins down, as they failed to capitalize on three first period opportunities and another in the third period with about nine minutes to play.

Erik Karlsson, re-establishing himself as the premier offensive defenseman in the entire National Hockey League, scored his 4th goal of the Olympics and now has 8 points in 5 games. Lundqvist has a 1.20 GAA and .950 save percentage in the tournament and Loui Eriksson was the other goal scorer.

Only Olli Jokinen would be able to find the net for Finland on this day, even as they outshot the Swedes 8-3 in the third period in an effort to mount the comeback.

Sweden will now await the winner of this afternoon’s game between Canada and the United States to determine who their opponent will be on Sunday morning (EST) for the gold medal game. The loser will take on Finland for the bronze medal.