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Sweden faces Latvia with chance to sweep Group C

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Sweden faces Latvia with chance to sweep Group C
Sweden vs. Latvia

SWEDEN vs. LATVIA

When: Saturday, Noon ET (USA)

Where: Shayba Arena

What's at stake: Sweden will look to find some chemistry in its forward lines as it attempts to replace captain Henrik Zetterberg, who will miss the remainder of the 2014 Sochi Olympics due to a herniated disk in his back. Latvia, which has put a nice scare into its first two opponents before coming up short, will try once more to pull off a major upset.

Sweden: Already missing one giant offensive cog in Henrik Sedin, the Swedes learned early Friday they would be without another as Zetterberg soon will return to Detroit for further evaluation of his back problem.

With so much of the Swedes' offense missing, the burden fell to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to raise his play and for the team to find other avenues to generate offense. They got some of both Friday in their 1-0 win against Switzerland.

Lundqvist made 26 saves, and the game's lone goal came from 41-year-old Daniel Alfredsson.

"We were fortunate at the beginning that Hank [Lundqvist] kept us in the game," defenseman Niklas Kronwall, named captain after Zetterberg's withdrawal, said. "From the 10-minute mark of the first period onward, I thought we did some good things. I still think we can do better offensively."

That means more from players like Alfredsson, Daniel Sedin and Gustav Nyquist.

"We've got a lot of injuries," Daniel Sedin said. "That's when you need other guys to step up, and this was a big win."

Latvia: For the second straight game, Latvia put forth an effort few thought it was capable of and put a scare into one of the world's hockey powers. But for the second straight game, they came up empty, this time in a 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic on Friday.

Latvia's Herberts Vasiljevs scored 2:45 into the second period to tie the game 2-2, but the Czechs scored twice in a 10-minute span later in the period to take a 4-2 lead. Latvia's best chance came late in the third when back-to-back Czech penalties gave Latvia a 57-second 5-on-3 power play, but they couldn't take advantage.

Their valiant but losing effort followed their 1-0 loss to Switzerland on Wednesday, a game that was scoreless until Swiss forward Simon Moser scored with 7.9 seconds left in regulation.

"I felt we played a good game," Latvia's Janis Sprukts told the IIHF website after the game Thursday. "We started a bit slow in the beginning because it's just hard to get into the game in the morning. But we came back with a lot of energy and tried to be in the game as much as possible. We created some good chances."

What's next: This will be the final game of preliminary-round play for both teams. Sweden already has clinched the top spot in Group C; Latvia's final seeding still is to be determined.

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Sweden
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
11 D. Alfredsson DET 5'11" 203 12/11/1972 Gothenburg, SWE
19 N. Bäckström WSH 6'1" 208 11/23/1987 Gävle, SWE
14 P. Berglund STL 6'3" 217 6/2/1988 Västerås, SWE
42 J. Ericsson 6'2" 212 2/22/1980 Skellefteå, SWE
21 L. Eriksson BOS 6'2" 196 7/17/1985 Goteborg, SWE
62 C. Hagelin NYR 5'11" 186 8/23/1988 Sodertalje, SWE
90 M. Johansson WSH 6'1" 205 10/6/1990 Landskrona, SWE
16 M. Krüger CHI 6'0" 181 5/27/1990 Stockholm, SWE
92 G. Landeskog COL 6'1" 204 11/23/1992 Stockholm, SWE
41 G. Nyquist DET 5'11" 185 9/1/1989 Halmstad, SWE
22 D. Sedin VAN 6'1" 187 9/26/1980 Ornskoldsvik, SWE
18 J. Silfverberg ANA 6'1" 200 10/13/1990 Gävle, SWE
20 A. Steen STL 5'11" 212 3/1/1984 Winnipeg, MB
40 H. Zetterberg DET 5'11" 197 10/9/1980 Njurunda, SWE
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
23 A. Edler VAN 6'3" 215 4/21/1986 Ostersund, SWE
3 O. Ekman-Larsson PHX 6'2" 190 7/17/1991 Karlskrona, SWE
52 J. Ericsson DET 6'4" 221 3/2/1984 Karlskrona, SWE
4 N. Hjalmarsson CHI 6'3" 207 6/6/1987 Eksjo, SWE
65 E. Karlsson OTT 6'0" 180 5/31/1990 Landsbro, SWE
55 N. Kronwall DET 6'0" 190 1/12/1981 Stockholm, SWE
27 J. Oduya CHI 6'0" 190 10/1/1981 Stockholm, SWE
7 H. Tallinder BUF 6'4" 209 1/10/1979 Stockholm, SWE
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 J. Enroth BUF 5'10" 166 6/25/1988 Stockholm, SWE
50 J. Gustavsson DET 6'3" 192 10/24/1984 Danderyd, SWE
30 H. Lundqvist NYR 6'1" 188 3/2/1982 Are, SWE
Latvia
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
21 A. Berzins 6'3" 214 12/27/1983 Riga, LAT
47 M. Cipulis 5'11" 187 11/29/1980 Cesis, LAT
10 L. Darzins 6'3" 201 1/28/1985 Riga, LAT
16 K. Daugavins 6'1" 205 5/18/1988 Riga, LAT
28 Z. Girgensons BUF 6'1" 190 1/5/1994 Riga, LAT
70 M. Indrasis 6'3" 187 9/30/1990 Riga, LAT
51 K. Jass 6'0" 192 5/4/1990 Riga, LAT
15 M. Karsums 5'10" 194 2/26/1986 Riga, LAT
91 R. Kenins 6'0" 201 2/28/1991 Riga, LAT
79 V. Pavlovs 6'5" 216 6/17/1989 Riga, LAT
24 M. Redlihs 5'11" 179 7/1/1984 Riga, LAT
5 J. Sprukts 6'3" 225 1/31/1982 Riga, LAT
3 J. Stals 6'3" 207 4/8/1982 Riga, LAT
12 H. Vasiljevs 5'11" 185 5/23/1976 Riga, LAT
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
37 O. Bartulis 6'3" 203 1/21/1987 Ogre, LAT
29 R. Freibergs 5'11" 192 5/17/1991 Riga, LAT
32 A. Kulda 6'2" 216 7/25/1988 Leipzig, GER
8 S. Ozolinsh 6'3" 214 8/3/1972 Sigulda, LAT
81 G. Pujacs 6'0" 216 6/11/1981 Riga, LAT
9 K. Redlihs 6'2" 205 1/15/1981 Riga, LAT
6 A. Rekis 5'11" 198 1/1/1979 Jurmala, LAT
11 K. Sotnieks 6'0" 192 1/29/1987 Riga, LAT
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
50 K. Gudlevskis 6'4" 190 7/31/1992 Aizkraukle, LAT
31 E. Masalskis 5'10" 187 3/31/1980 Riga, LAT
1 E. Mustukovs 6'0" 187 4/7/1984 Riga, LAT