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Rested Finland takes on weary and aching Czech team

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Rested Finland takes on weary and aching Czech team
Czech Republic vs. Finland
CZECH REPUBLIC (3-1-0-0) vs. FINLAND (2-1-0-0)

What to watch --  The Czechs avoided disaster on Tuesday night when David Krejci scored in overtime to lift his team to a 3-2 victory against Latvia, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force the extra session.

The big question heading into Wednesday's game is, will Jaromir Jagr be available to play? The Czech forward was forced to leave during Tuesday's win due to a stiff neck that was suffered on Sunday after Jagr was drilled at center ice by Russia's Alex Ovechkin.

"We hope he'll be available to play," Czech coach Vladimir Ruzicka said after his team's great escape at the University of British Columbia's Thunderbird Arena. "We believe he will be ready. And obviously, we're hoping he can play the whole game."

Finland, meanwhile, earned a bye into the quarterfinals despite a 3-0 loss to Sweden on Sunday night. The Finns fired 20 shots on Henrik Lundqvist, but the New York Rangers goaltender stopped them all for his second shutout of the tournament.

"The Swedes are a very good team when they have the lead," Finland coach Jukka Jalonen said. "The game was over I would say after the second period."

Last game -- Czech Republic won in overtime over Latvia, 3-2; Finland lost to Sweden, 3-0.

Team Reports:

Czech Republic
--  Clearly, the Czechs will need a better effort on Wednesday if they have any hope of advancing to the semifinals of this tournament.

And they know it.

"Obviously, we got a win that was important," Krejci said. "But the way we played (against Latvia), we can't play (against Finland). So I would prefer to forget about this game and move forward. And tomorrow is going to be the biggest game of my career.

"So I'll get ready tonight and tomorrow and be ready to show lots of heart tomorrow. I'm sure everybody else will do that, too."

Finland --  The Finns will have to find a way to fill the void left by defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who will not be in the lineup on Wednesday.

Pitkanen was suspended for one game after receiving a game misconduct penalty for hitting Sweden's Patric Hornqvist in the head late in the second period on Sunday night.

"He's a key part on the power play and obviously on the breakouts he's such a good skater and mobile defenseman and sees the ice well," defenseman Sami Salo said. "Obviously it's a big loss, but it opens up a spot for Janne Niskala."

Total NHL players in game -- Czech Republic: 16. Finland: 18.

Puck Drop
--  Win or lose, Krejci created a memory that will last a lifetime on Tuesday night. The story of how he scored an overtime goal to put his team in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Olympic Games will certainly be told to his grandchildren one day.

For now, though, he'll do his best to remain focused on the task at hand -- disposing of Finland.

"I don't think I've scored a bigger goal," the Boston Bruins' forward said. "This is something special. And it's pretty cool. But with our team performance, I wasn't very happy.

"I want to forget about it. I'm going to think about my goal after the tournament is over. But right now is not the right time to celebrate that goal."

NHL.com predicts -- One has to believe the Finns are still seething from Sunday's loss, and the Czechs needed every ounce of energy just to get past Latvia on Tuesday night. With little time to prepare, expect Finland to bounce back in a big way with a 3-1 victory.

Czech Republic
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
10 R. Cervenka 5'11" 201 12/10/1985 Praha, CZE
26 P. Elias NJD 6'1" 195 4/13/1976 Trebic, CZE
91 M. Erat WSH 6'0" 196 8/29/1981 Trebic, CZE
67 M. Frolik WPG 6'1" 198 2/17/1988 Kladno, CZE
11 M. Hanzal PHX 6'6" 230 2/20/1987 Pisek, CZE
83 A. Hemsky EDM 6'0" 185 8/13/1983 Pardubice, CZE
68 J. Jagr NJD 6'3" 230 2/15/1972 Kladno, CZE
46 D. Krejci BOS 6'0" 188 4/28/1986 Sternberk, CZE
9 M. Michalek OTT 6'2" 216 12/7/1984 Jindrichuv Hradec, CZE
93 P. Nedved 6'3" 196 12/9/1971 Liberec, CZE
12 J. Novotny 6'3" 204 8/12/1983 Pelhrimov, CZE
18 O. Palat TBL 5'11" 174 3/28/1991 Frydek Mistek, CZE
14 T. Plekanec MTL 5'11" 196 10/31/1982 Kladno, CZE
89 J. Voracek PHI 6'2" 214 8/15/1989 Kladno, CZE
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
8 M. Barinka 6'3" 225 6/12/1984 Vyskov, CZE
3 R. Gudas TBL 6'0" 204 6/5/1990 Prague, CZE
7 T. Kaberle 6'1" 212 3/2/1978 Rakovnik, CZE
25 L. Krajicek 6'3" 205 3/11/1983 Prostejov, CZE
23 Z. Michalek PHX 6'2" 210 12/23/1982 Jindrichuv Hradec, CZE
32 M. Rozsival CHI 6'1" 212 9/3/1978 Vlasim, CZE
5 L. Smid CGY 6'3" 209 2/1/1986 Frydlant, CZE
2 M. Zidlicky NJD 5'11" 190 2/3/1977 Most, CZE
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 J. Kovar 6'0" 201 7/19/1988 Pisek, CZE
31 O. Pavelec WPG 6'3" 220 8/31/1987 Kladno, CZE
53 A. Salak 6'1" 190 1/5/1987 Strakonice, CZE
Finland
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
50 J. Aaltonen 6'0" 196 6/4/1985 Ii, FIN
16 A. Barkov FLA 6'2" 205 9/2/1995 Tampere, FIN
64 M. Granlund MIN 5'10" 186 2/26/1992 Oulu, FIN
26 J. Immonen 6'0" 198 4/19/1982 Rantasalmi, FIN
36 J. Jokinen PIT 5'11" 198 4/1/1983 Kalajoki, FIN
12 O. Jokinen WPG 6'2" 210 12/5/1978 Kuopio, FIN
71 L. Komarov 5'10" 187 1/23/1987 Narva, EST
27 P. Kontiola 6'0" 205 10/4/1984 Seinajoki, FIN
28 L. Korpikoski PHX 6'1" 205 7/28/1986 Turku, FIN
21 J. Lehterä 6'1" 201 12/23/1987 Helsinki, FIN
41 A. Pihlström 5'11" 181 10/22/1984 Vantaa, FIN
15 T. Ruutu CAR 6'0" 205 2/16/1983 Vantaa, FIN
23 S. Salminen 5'10" 165 5/31/1988 Pori, FIN
8 T. Selänne ANA 6'0" 209 7/3/1970 Helsinki, FIN
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
5 L. Kukkonen 6'0" 187 9/18/1981 Oulu, FIN
38 J. Hietanen 5'10" 187 6/14/1985 Hämeenlinna, FIN
18 S. Lepistö 6'1" 194 10/17/1984 Espoo, FIN
3 O. Määttä PIT 6'2" 206 8/22/1994 Jyväskylä, FIN
6 S. Salo TBL 6'3" 215 9/2/1974 Turku, FIN
44 K. Timonen PHI 5'10" 194 3/18/1975 Kuopio, FIN
4 O. Väänänen 6'4" 216 8/18/1980 Vantaa, FIN
45 S. Vatanen ANA 5'10" 183 6/3/1991 Jyväskylä, FIN
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
32 K. Lehtonen DAL 6'4" 210 11/16/1983 Helsinki, FIN
31 A. Niemi SJS 6'2" 210 8/29/1983 Vantaa, FIN
40 T. Rask BOS 6'2" 185 3/10/1987 Savonlinna, FIN