The Avs are 1-0 so far in Russia.
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado’s captain and Sweden’s alternate captain, assisted on a Henrik Zetterberg (Red Wings) goal 51 seconds into the second period Wednesday, and Sweden started its 2014 Olympics with a 4-2 win against Czech Republic at Sochi’s Bolshoy Ice Dome.
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The Swedes took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission and quickly led 4-0 in the second period, following Zetterberg’s score and another from Erik Karlsson (Predators) at 4:07.
The Czechs pushed back and made the score 4-2 on second-period scores from Marek Zidlicky and Jaromir Jagr (Devils), but that was it for the game’s scoring.
Landeskog finished with one shot on goal and a plus-two rating in 15:16 of ice time. He also served a late first-period penalty for interference.
Landeskog and Sweden’s next Group C game comes Friday against Switzerland (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), which defeated Lativa 1-0 Wednesday across town at Shayba Arena, getting the game’s only score with 7.9 seconds left in the third period.
The Swiss feature NHL players Jonas Hiller (Ducks) in goal, Roman Josi (Predators) and Mark Streit (Flyers) on defense and Nino Niederreiter (Wild) and Damian Brunner (Devils) up front.
The rest of the Avalanche’s 2014 Olympians will begin play tomorrow, with goalie Semyon Varlamov and forwards Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny ready to begin tournament play.
In Group A games, Varlamov and the hometown Russians face Slovenia at 5:30 a.m. MT (MSNBC, CBC), and Stastny and USA take on Slovakia at 5:30 a.m. MT. (NBCSN, TSN).
Duchene and the Canadians will face Norway at 10 a.m. MT. (USA, CBC) in a Group B matchup.
Canada coach Mike Babcock (Red Wings) hasn’t released his active lineup for Thursday’s game, but Duchene will potentially be a healthy scratch. The International Ice Hockey Federation allows for 25-man rosters, but only a maximum of 20 skaters and two goaltenders are allowed to dress for each game.
Teams will typically go with 13 forwards and seven defensemen.
"Hopefully I get to play, I get in the lineup, even if it's the 13th [forward] spot," Duchene said to NHL.com following Tuesday’s practice. "I just look at past guys that have been in that position. I think Jonathan Toews (Blackhawks) started as [the 13th forward] last Olympics and ended up being maybe the best forward on the team by the end.
"You can't let it limit you if that's where you end up. You've just got to keep working hard; you've got to be a good teammate to your guys. You can't whine or complain; you've just got to work hard. I'm the youngest guy on the team—I'm probably the least experienced in terms of some of the big international play. I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team, whether it's on the ice or in the stands."
CHEERING ON THE LADIES
Duchene and some of his Canadian teammates were in the Shayba Arena stands Wednesday, cheering on their female counterparts in their dramatic 3-2 win against the United States. Both teams are expected to compete for the gold medal on the women's side.