SOCHI -- Alex Ovechkin is the engine for everything with the Washington Capitals, but Nicklas Backstrom has always been the carburetor, finding ways to help make the superstar hum at maximum efficiency.
When Sweden came to the 2014 Sochi Olympics without Henrik Sedin and then lost Henrik Zetterberg after the first game of the tournament, Backstrom was back in a customary place as a No. 1 center. Without the two Henriks, the Swedes went from having three world-class centers to one, and a position of strength became a potential weakness.
To this point it hasn't been a problem, and that's part of why Sweden will play for the gold medal Sunday against Canada at Bolshoy Ice Dome (7 a.m. ET; NBC, CBC).
"I don't feel like I have pressure from outside," Backstrom said. "I always put pressure on myself and have high expectations of myself in a tournament like this or when you go into a new NHL season. That's a similar situation. I think that is enough, to put the pressure and expectations I have for myself. Obviously we have a lot of ice time and the coaching staff believes in us, so it is something we have to take care of."