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2014 NHL Draft
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Kopecky out for rest of Sochi Olympics: report

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 8:25 PM / 2014 Olympics


Florida Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky, representing Slovakia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, will miss the remainder of the tournament with an upper-body injury, team spokesman Tomas Stulajter confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

A two-time Olympian, Kopecky was hit in the head with an elbow in the first period of Slovakia's game Saturday against Slovenia, which led to the suspension of Slovene forward Sabahudin Kovacevic for the following game.


Canada women hold off Switzerland, will face U.S.

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 4:03 PM / 2014 Olympics


Canada is set for another gold-medal grudge match against the United States.

Florence Schelling and Switzerland wouldn't let victory come easy for the Canadians, however.

Natalie Spooner scored twice in a three-goal opening period for Canada, which generated plenty of offensive chances after that but were repeatedly denied by the goaltending of Schelling in what ended up as a 3-1 victory at Shayba Arena.

Canada and the U.S. will play for gold at 12 p.m. ET Thursday while Switzerland faces Sweden for bronze at 7 a.m.

The Americans punched their ticket to the final with a dominant effort earlier in the day, defeating Sweden 6-1 while holding a 70-9 advantage in shots.

Canada lost to the U.S. in the inaugural women's gold-medal game at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, but beat the Americans in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010.


U.S. women top Sweden, advance to gold-medal game

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 2:20 PM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- There was no replay of the miracle at Turin in the 2014 Sochi Olympics women's hockey tournament Monday afternoon at Shayba Arena.

The United States started fast and never looked back, scoring three goals in a dominant first period before cruising to a 6-1 victory against Sweden.

The Americans will play Canada, a 3-1 winner against Switzerland in the other semifinal Monday, for the gold medal on Thursday.

Eight years ago, the Americans faced Sweden at this stage and were considered heavy favorites as well. Instead, the Swedes shocked the world with a 4-3 victory to advance to the gold-medal game for the first time.

On Monday, the Americans made it clear from the opening faceoff they had little interest in playing a nail-biting game or letting a dangerous Swedish side hang around, especially after the Swedes upset Finland in the quarterfinals.


With Vlasic-Doughty pairing, Canada's defense set

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 11:23 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Canada coach Mike Babcock will not announce his lineup for the quarterfinals until the morning of the game on Wednesday.

But he settled one aspect of the lineup question rather definitively on Monday.

With two goals allowed in three games, both on shots deflected in front, one area of Canada's game Babcock has no trouble with has been his defense.

The pairings of Duncan Keith and Shea Weber, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Drew Doughty and Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo have remained consistent from the moment Canada stepped off the plane here.


Kessel assuming role as United States' game-breaker

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 10:47 AM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- Phil Kessel had little to say after a night to remember at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Often reticent, Kessel didn't break character after a stunning performance, including a natural hat trick, helped propel the United States to a 5-1 victory against Slovenia in the final game of Group A play Saturday at Shayba Arena. The win gave the Americans a 2-1-0-0 record in pool play and moved them directly into the quarterfinals as group champion, avoiding the always dangerous play-in game.

The Americans play again Wednesday, against the winner of the play-in game Tuesday between Slovakia and the Czech Republic (noon ET, NBCSN).

The United States took Monday off and regrouped a bit while beginning the process of moving forward to the quarterfinal game Wednesday (noon ET). It gives others time to marvel a bit longer at the brilliance Kessel, a star with the Toronto Maple Leafs, put on display Sunday afternoon.


Russia says Kovalchuk OK; focuses on power play

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 10:20 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Ilya Kovalchuk missed Russia's practice Monday, but coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov defused any fears that his star forward would miss the qualification round game against Norway on Tuesday.

"He's OK," Bilyaletdinov said after practice. "Just a rest."

Kovalchuk left his team's Group A game against Slovakia on Sunday with an apparent ankle injury midway through the second period, but returned for the start of the third and scored the clinching goal in the shootout in Russia's 1-0 win.


Rask, defense helping Finland overcome injuries

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 9:20 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- In the weeks leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Finland's depth chart at center included Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, Saku Koivu and Aleksander Barkov.

That group would be at worst the fifth-best collection of talent at the position in this tournament, and it might not be far off what Russia and the United States have in a tier behind Canada and Sweden.

The Swedes are now missing a couple of elite centers in Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg, but no team has dealt with more roster attrition than Finland. None of those four names mentioned above will be available Wednesday when the fourth-seeded Finns face either Russia or Norway in the quarterfinals.


Karlsson-Lundqvist collision puts scare into Sweden

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 7:32 AM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Sweden has had more than its fair share of high-profile injury issues thus far at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and it came close to yet another one Monday.

This one would have been the worst one yet.

After losing Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen and Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin prior to and then captain Henrik Zetterberg of the Red Wings one game into the Olympics, Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist was crashed into by Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson during practice Monday.


12 questions heading into Olympics knockout round

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 4:47 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI – Some questions have already been answered in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but all that's done is create more queries heading into the elimination phase.

Though the final answers won't come until Sunday, here are 12 questions to ask and analyze Monday, the off day before the qualification round Tuesday and the quarterfinals Wednesday:


Finals not automatic for U.S., Canadian women

Sunday, 02.16.2014 / 6:57 PM / 2014 Olympics

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Prior to Canada's preliminary game against the United States last week at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, goalie Charline Labonte referred to the greatly anticipated match between two of international women's hockey hottest rivals as "our Stanley Cup." The intensity of Canada's 3-2 win against the U.S. was equivalent to a gold medal game or a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and whetted appetites for a golden rematch from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

It's widely expected that the Canadian and American women will meet again with everything on the line, so it's been easy to overlook their respective semfinal opponents, Switzerland and Sweden. Feb. 17, 2006 at the Torino Games is a reminder that anything can happen to detour those best-laid plans. It's a night Sweden cherishes to this day and one the Americans find impossible to forget even if they tried.

Sweden's 3-2 shootout win put them and not the U.S. into the final against Canada, a shocking upset considering the Americans had outscored the Swedes 68-12 in the previous nine games between the two over a 16-year span.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com