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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 2:01 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Selanne to captain Finland Olympic team

Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, playing in his sixth Olympics, will captain Finland's team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Selanne, 43, has seven goals and 20 points in 47 NHL games. In five previous Olympics, he has 20 goals and 17 assists in 31 games. He won a silver medal in 2006, and bronze medals in 1998 and 2010. Twice he's led the Olympics in scoring, with 10 points in five games in 1998 and 11 points in eight games in 2006.

Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 1:55 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Minney backstops U.S. to Five Nations title

Edwin Minney, one of the top goaltender prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 20 saves and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Saturday to win the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

The U.S. jumped to an early lead on Joe Wegworth's goal 4:15 into the game. Dylan Pavelek scored at 15:51 of the first to make it 2-0 and Brandon Fortunato's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the opening period gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Czechs responded with two goals in just over a minute in the second period to make it a one-goal game, with top European draft prospect Jakub Vrana having a hand in both scores. Vrana, No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft, scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the second. Just 64 seconds later, Vrana set up Filip Pyrochta for a goal at 8:34.

The Americans tightened up in the third period, allowing the Czechs just three shots. Minney, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 draft, stopped all three shots in the third. In two games at the tournament, Minney went 2-0-0 while allowing five goals on 50 shots for a .900 save percentage.

Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 11:04 AM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

U.S., Canadian women open Olympics with victories

Hilary Knight scored the opening goal 53 seconds into the game and assisted on Kelli Stack's game-winner in the United States' tournament-opening 3-1 win against Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States and Jessie Vetter made 14 saves. Susanna Tapani scored for Finland, while Noora Raty stopped 40 of 43 shots.

Knight opened the scoring early in a first period, one in which the Americans outshot Finland 15-3, before she set up Stack's goal 7:42 into the second to give the American women a 2-0 lead. The 19-year-old Carpenter, the daughter of longtime NHL player Bobby Carpenter, scored her first Olympic goal on the power play to extend the U.S. lead to 3-0 with 4:01 remaining in the second.

Tapani scored Finland's lone goal 15:22 into the third with Brianna Decker off for hooking. But the standout player for the Finns was Raty, who won back-to-back NCAA national championships with the University of Minnesota in 2012 and 2013. The Finnish goaltender kept the score respectable as the United States outshot the Finns 33-7 in the opening two periods.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 4:18 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Poile remains in hospital, delays trip to Sochi

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is recovering from surgical procedures in his nose and eye areas Friday in a Minnesota hospital and his travel to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympics has been delayed.

Poile was hit in the face Thursday by a deflected puck during the Predators' morning skate at Xcel Energy Center and was taken to an area hospital.

Poile also is the general manager for the United States Olympic team and was scheduled to travel with other NHL Olympians to Russia on Sunday. In a statement released by the Predators, Poile still hopes to join the team in Sochi.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 2:35 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Larkin scores twice to lead U.S. at Five Nations

Dylan Larkin, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist as the United States beat Sweden 4-2 Friday for its third win in as many games at the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.

Larkin, a 6-foot-0.75, 190-pound center with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team, is No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 draft.

Alex Tuch and Ryan Wagner also had goals and Blake Weyrick, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders, made 24 saves.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 2:21 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Finland's Koivu, Filppula out of Olympics

Finland will be without top forwards Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild and Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Koivu announced Friday that he was ending his attempts to play in the Olympics. He has been out since sustaining a broken ankle during a game Jan. 4.

"I'm not going to the Olympics games this year," Koivu said in a statement released on the Wild's official Twitter feed. "I just don't feel healthy enough to feel that I can play at the level that I want."

He said he will take a few days off and then resume skating prior to the Wild getting back together Feb. 19.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 12:30 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Capitals' Johansson named to Sweden's Olympic team

Washington Capitals left wing Marcus Johansson will represent Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it was announced Friday.

Johansson takes the place of Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin, who announced Thursday he will not participate in Sochi because of a lingering rib injury.

Johansson, 23, will be making his first Olympic appearance and will join Capitals teammate Nicklas Backstrom on the Swedish team.

"It's a great feeling. It's awesome. It's a dream coming true," Johansson said. "Playing in the Olympics for your country, it's pretty awesome. ... You feel proud and really excited to be able to experience an Olympics and get a chance to win a gold medal."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 9:25 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Fowler, Weekes talk Olympics on NHL Live

There was plenty of talk about the 2014 Sochi Olympics on NHL Live on NHL Network on Thursday night.

Anaheim Ducks and U.S. defenseman Cam Fowler joined Ken Daneyko and Steve Mears by phone to discuss the upcoming Olympics, as well as the Ducks' recent struggles and the recent 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm obviously just very honored and humbled to be a part of that team and a part of that experience. I'm really just looking forward to getting over there and getting to know the guys and getting to know the systems and the coaching staff," the first-time Olympian said. "I'm sure when that first game's there will definitely be some butterflies, but I think those will go away after the first few shifts."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 6:50 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Henrik Sedin to miss final pre-Olympic games

Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin will miss the final two games prior to the Olympic break, in addition to the tournament itself.

"I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games," Sedin said in a statement released by the Canucks. "This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden and the Vancouver Canucks. I wish my teammates the best and look forward to returning to play."

Sedin recently returned to the lineup after missing six games with bruised ribs. He played back-to-back games against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, and did not register a shot on goal in either game.

"We are shutting Henrik down for the next two games," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "He wants to play, but he's not as effective as we need him to be right now."

Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 3:33 PM

By Staff -  / - Road to Sochi blog

Blue Jackets forward Gaborik to miss Olympics

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik will miss the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the team announced Thursday.

Gaborik, who sustained a broken collarbone Dec. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers, had hoped to return in time to play for his native Slovakia.

"I'm extremely disappointed that I won't be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team," Gaborik said. "I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future."

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Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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