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Features

Twitter reacts to Oshie's shootout heroics vs. Russia

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 1:21 PM / 2014 Olympics

NHL.com

St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie is the man of the moment for the United States men's hockey team.

He's also become a star in the Twitterverse after putting on a shootout clinic to lift the U.S. to a 3-2 win against Russia on Saturday in Group A play at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Oshie's performance, in which he took six shootout attempts and scored on four of them (IIHF rules permit teams to repeat the same player over and over after the third round), wowed everyone from U.S. teammates to fellow players on the Blues and opponents around the NHL.

Here's a sample of some of the reaction:

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Blues' Oshie a one-man show in U.S. shootout win

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 12:56 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Hockey so often embodies the essence of team sports, but the international game can provide the chance for an individual to take center stage.

T.J. Oshie is a very good hockey player, one of the best on a St. Louis Blues team among the elite in the NHL, but he faced a very personal challenge with hockey fans from around the world watching Saturday and has a larger profile in the sport than he did the day before because of it.

Oshie scored four times on six shots in a shootout for the United States to help his country defeat host Russia 3-2 at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

"It was amazing," Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane said. "The two that he did miss he had the goalie beat on both of them. It was pretty amazing to watch. He's obviously very special in that area."

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Analysis: Lineup decisions big storyline for Canada

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 8:44 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Canada’s game Sunday against Finland to close out Group B play (noon ET, USA, CBC) is really of little importance, in the grand scheme of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Both teams will live to play again, and really the only thing on the line is which one will get a guaranteed bye into the quarterfinals. But the loser Sunday could still wind up in the quarters by being the best second-place finisher in the tournament, so even the bye is not that big of a prize.

No, the game is important for one main reason for Canada: It will provide a glimpse into what coach Mike Babcock and his staff are thinking as the team moves into the knockout phase of the tournament.

Babcock refused to announce Saturday who his starting goaltender will be against Finland and which two players will be scratched among the skaters. While he insisted the decisions made in both cases are not guaranteed to last past the game Sunday, it is fair to assume they will, especially if Canada wins handily.

So these decisions matter and people across Canada will likely spend every minute between now and the game Sunday debating the merits of every decision Babcock has on his plate.

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Sweden women upset Finland, face U.S. in semis

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 5:40 AM / 2014 Olympics

Sweden earned a berth in the women's hockey semifinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics by upsetting Finland 4-2 in a quarterfinal game Saturday.

Emma Eliasson's power-play goal with 4:15 remaining in regulation broke a 2-2 tie and earned Sweden a berth against the United States on Monday.

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U.S. expects unique atmosphere playing host Russia

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 1:28 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- On the fifth anniversary of his first game as a coach in the NHL, Dan Bylsma will stand in the middle of a scene that should be unlike anything he has seen or experienced in the 1,825 days since he was hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bylsma will be standing behind the United States bench, coaching in an Olympic hockey game between the U.S. and Russia in Russia. It would be bigger only if there was a medal on the line.

"It's going to be different," Bylsma said after putting his American team through practice Friday. "But it's going to be big."

Much bigger than the game Thursday against Slovakia, which the Americans won 7-1.

However Bylsma, who has coached in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final and 65 Stanley Cup Playoff games, said he felt like a rookie coach again during his first Olympic game.

He can't even imagine what it'll feel like Saturday at Bolshoy Ice Dome (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC), when the Americans and Russians each play the second of their three games in Group A play at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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Canada puts on dazzling display of skill in win

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 1:06 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were standing nearly shoulder to shoulder in the mixed zone, the area where players meet with media after games at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and each was talking about the same thing.

Getzlaf lofted a long, backhanded saucer pass from the left side in Canada's defensive zone in the first period Friday at Bolshoy Ice Dome, and his Anaheim Ducks teammate was racing down the right wing in the neutral zone. When the puck reached Perry, it was in front of him and about waist high.

No problem -- Perry just stuck his stick out with one arm, knocked the puck to the ice and proceeded to set up a howitzer of a shot by Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber to give the Canadians a two-goal lead en route to an eventual 6-0 victory against Austria.

Getzlaf did not know Perry had pulled off this incredible feat of hand-eye coordination while using only 50 percent of the hands available to him.

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Bobrovsky to start for Russia vs. United States

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 12:54 AM / 2014 Olympics

NHL.com

Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal for Russia against the United States in Group A play Saturday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender and 2013 Vezina Trophy winner will be making his Olympic debut at Bolshoy Ice Dome (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC), the Russian team announced Saturday morning.

Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche played in Russia's 5-2 opening win against Slovenia on Thursday. He made 12 saves.

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Hockey players taking advantage of Sochi experience

Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 12:10 AM / 2014 Olympics

NHL.com

As the 2014 Sochi Olympics continued Friday, NHL players continued to enjoy the sights and some even took advantage of a different mode of transportation to the arena, as Sweden broke out the bikes prior to its 1-0 win against Switzerland. Meanwhile, one New York Islanders teammate applauded his captain, Canada's John Tavares, while getting in a little tweak as well.

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Russia aims to use skill, larger ice to its advantage

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 1:40 PM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- Russia captain Pavel Datsyuk knows the up-and-down North American game as well as anybody here, having played it for nearly 13 years with the Detroit Red Wings. He also knows how different that style is from the skilled game the Russians want to play on the big ice at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Saturday against the United States.

Datsyuk thinks only one way can work for his team.

Pavel Datsyuk
Center - DET
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 18 | PTS: 33
SOG: 108 | +/-: -4
"If we play our hockey it'll be easy for us," Datsyuk said after practice Friday. "If we start to play not our hockey, not good for us."

The U.S. isn't planning to make it easy for Russia in the second game of Group A preliminary-round play for each team (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

The Americans want to be hard, fast and physical every chance they get against the Russians.

They'll use a shut-down defense pair of Pittsburgh Penguins teammates Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin against the uber-skilled line of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Semin. They also may use a bruising checking line of Dustin Brown, David Backes and Ryan Callahan against those three Russian stars.

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Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg out of Olympics

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 11:07 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg is out for the rest of the 2014 Sochi Olympics because of injury, the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation announced Friday.

Zetterberg, who has a herniated disk, missed 13 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the NHL season.

Zetterberg had a goal and won seven of 16 faceoffs in 18:14 of ice time Wednesday in Sweden’s 4-2 Olympic-opening win against the Czech Republic. He did not practice Thursday in order to receive treatment.

"In this situation it was no tough decision as this was no borderline case," Sweden team doctor Bjorn Waldeback said Friday. "For people who know medicine it is obvious that this couldn't continue.

"[Henrik] has been in touch with the Detroit medical staff. I have been in touch with the NHL doctors who are here. They totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disk the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."

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