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Sweden, Backlund set to face Russia

by Jason Pirie / Calgary Flames



It was a close call but Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund and Team Sweden eked out a 3-2 shootout win over Switzerland on Sunday for its third consecutive victory at the 2016 IIHF World Championships in Russia.

Sweden, which clinched a quarterfinal berth with the win, has also found the win column with victories over Latvia, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Norway while its lone setback came to Czech Republic.

With three regulation wins, two in overtime and one loss, Sweden sits in third place in Group A behind Czech Republic and host Russia.

The 27-year-old Backlund – the lone Flames representative at this year’s World Championships – has three goals and one assist to go along with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating in six tournament games. Only teammate and tournament leader Gustav Nyquist has scored more goals for Tre Kroner with seven.

Backlund played in all 82 games for the Flames during the 2015-16 campaign, notching a career-high 21 goals and 47 points to finish fourth in team scoring.

Sweden next faces Alex Ovechkin and the Russians (5-0-0-1) in a crucial matchup on Tuesday at the Ice Palace in Saint Petersburg. Game time is 11:15 a.m. MT.

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