Three of Friday's four Olympic matchup feature Blackhawks skaters, as the preliminary round-robin portion of the tournament rolls on in Sochi.
After a tough loss to Sweden on Wednesday, Michal Rozsival and the Czech Republic got back in the win column, edging Latvia, 4-2. New Jersey's Marek Zidlicky scored a goal and an assist and Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves in the victory.
Many predicted Switzerland and Sweden's contest to be the most interesting one on Friday's slate, and they were right: the two teams played to a scoreless tie through most of the three periods, until Detroit's Daniel Alfredsson scored the game-winner with less than 8 minutes remaining in regulation to lead Sweden to victory. New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves for the shutout win, while Calgary's Reto Berra made 30 of 31 for the Swiss in the tough loss.
Later in the day, Canada steamrolled Austria, 6-0, behind a hat trick from Los Angeles' Jeff Carter. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo made 23 saves in the win, and San Jose's Patrick Marleau added three assists.
Michal Rozsival (CZE): Rozsival, once against skating with Tomas Kaberle, saw an improved stat line compared to Wednesday's loss to Sweden; in 19:34 of action, which included some time on the PK unit, Rozsival skated to an even plus/minus rating, but was held without a shot on net. Rozsival was on the ice for one of Latvia's goals, a power-play tally for Latvian forward Jānis Sprukts.
Niklas Hjalmarsson (SWE): In 17:40 of action during Sweden's 1-0 win, Hjalmarsson did what he did best: playing reliable, steady defense. The 26-year-old blueliner saw time on the penalty kill, and registered two shots on goal to go with an even plus/minus rating.
Johnny Oduya (SWE): Once against paired with Hjalmarsson, Oduya saw limited ice time in the first two periods, but finished with 14:47. The Stockholm native did not register a shot on net in the win.
Marcus Kruger (SWE): It was a tough day at the dot for Kruger, only winning two of seven faceoffs while seeing bottom-six minutes. In 9:55 of ice time, the 23-year-old pivot did not register a shot on goal.
Jonathan Toews (CAN): In 15:59 of ice time, Toews took three shots on net and was a plus-three while centering a line with Patrick Marleau and Rick Nash. L.A.'s Drew Doughty scored off a Toews faceoff win, the alternate captain's first point of the Olympic tournament. The center was also led Canada in faceoff wins, going 10-8 at the dot (57 percent).
Duncan Keith (CAN): Though Keith did not score, he and defensive partner Shea Weber saw time on both the power-play and penalty-kill units. The British Columbia native skated a team-high 23:52 in the win, taking three shots on goal for a plus-three rating.
Patrick Sharp (CAN): Sharp did not dress for Canada's game on Friday, as Colorado's Matt Duchene suited up in his place. He is expected to play in Canada's next game, Sunday against Finland.
Other Day 3 notes: Pittsburgh defenseman Olli Maatta tallied three points (1G, 2A) as Finland got by Norway, 6-1.
Day 4 Schedule (Sat. Feb. 15)
Slovakia vs. Slovenia - 2 a.m. CT
Michal Handzus, Marian Hossa (SVK)
United States vs. Russia - 6:30 a.m. CT
Patrick Kane (USA)
Switzerland vs. Czech Republic - 11 a.m. CT
Michal Rozsival (CZE)
Sweden vs. Latvia - 11 a.m. CT
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Marcus Kruger, Johnny Oduya (SWE)