Finland will be without one of its best defensemen when the quarterfinals get under way Wednesday.
Joni 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 during Finland's 3-0 loss Sunday night. The Finns earned a bye into the quarterfinals by finishing with the fourth best record in the preliminary round.
"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."
Niskala has been acting as a seventh defenseman, but he will see more action when Finland faces the winner of the Czech Republic-Latvia game. The former Tampa Bay Lightning blueliner has been playing for Frolunda Gothenburg in the Swedish Elite League since 2008.