Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 9:31 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Pacioretty: I'm going to Sochi

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said he's going to the Sochi Olympics despite leaving the game Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes with 7:30 remaining in the first period after being checked into the goal post.

"I'm OK. I'm going to Sochi," the U.S. Olympian said in the dressing room after Montreal's 4-1 victory. NHL players taking part in the Games are scheduled to fly to Russia on Sunday.

Pacioretty drove hard to the net and was hit by Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore. He appeared to be favoring his left forearm as he skated slowly to the dressing room. He didn't return, and the Canadiens announced during the second period that Pacioretty had sustained a lower-body injury.

The 25-year-old has a team-leading 26 goals and 11 assists for Montreal this season.

"It's a play I make often," Pacioretty said. "I went in a little bit awkwardly. I banged up my arm and my hip. I was very worried at first. It was tough to breath and I was having (back) spasms. Once that went away, I was feeling a lot better. I got a lot of treatment during the game and I'm feeling a lot better."

Pacioretty didn't hesitate when asked if he was certain to be ready for the Olympics. He expected some lingering bruising, but otherwise felt he avoided a more serious injury.

"I think I got lucky," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Pacioretty is one of seven Canadiens who will compete in Sochi.

"If he was to miss that, it would be a terrible loss," said Montreal goalie Carey Price, who will play for Canada. "It's a very cool life experience to take part in."

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 / 10:21 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

'Miracle on Ice' team members salute 2014 Olympians

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The 15 members of the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes who will take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics were given a rousing sendoff at Arena on Friday, with 10 members of the 1980 United States "Miracle on Ice" team leading the way.

Beginning with Kurt Russell's recreation of coach Herb Brooks' famous USA-Soviet Union pregame speech from the movie "Miracle" and continuing with Aerosmith's iconic "Dream On," 10 members of the gold medal winning team were introduced to a sellout crowd that recreated the "U-S-A!, U-S-A!" chant that echoed through the mountains of Lake Placid 34 years ago.

The 10 team members, Beginning with sniper Neal Broten and ending with captain Mike Eruzione, donned their red, white and blue jerseys again and lined up at center ice before the five Phoenix and 10 Chicago Olympians were introduced to the crowd. Broten and Eruzione were joined by Steve Janaszak, Rob McClanahan, Ken Morrow, Buzz Schneider, Dave Silk, Bob Suter, Phil Verchota and Mark Wells.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 9:03 PM - Road to Sochi blog

NHL Live: Group A Olympic Breakdown

NHL Live breaks down and targets key players from Group A at the Olympics. The teams include United States, Russia, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 9:02 PM - Road to Sochi blog

NHL Live: Barry Melrose on Olympic Coaching

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joins NHL Live to discuss coaching strategies and how to create a successful winning hockey team at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 8:58 PM - Road to Sochi blog

NHL Live: Pacioretty on playing in Olympics

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty joins NHL Live to discuss the Olympics, and his odd night against Vancouver, recording a hat trick and missing 2 penalty shots.

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 / 2:21 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 Friday, 02.07.2014 / 12:35 AM

By James Murphy - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Canucks' Henrik Sedin out for Sochi Olympics

Henrik Sedin
Center - VAN
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 40
SOG: 80 | +/-: 6
MONTREAL -- Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin won't play for Sweden in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"I'm going to stay at home," Sedin said Thursday night after the Canucks' 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre, though he added that he was "very confident" he'll be ready to return when the Canucks resume play on Feb. 26 against the St. Louis Blues. "I need rest; I need rehab and I'm going to get a few days of recovery. It's right where they thought it was at first. It wasn't a whole lot worse but it's just a matter of feeling it confident-wise and feeling 100 percent.

"I don't think I'm there so that's why I made this decision."

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