MANNHEIM, Germany - Canada is playing with fire at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Jonas Andersson scored goals 2:54 apart Sunday as Sweden beat Canada 3-1, leaving open the possibility of a quarter-final date with the powerhouse Russians.
Johan Harju also had a goal for Sweden (4-1), which can't see the two-time defending champions before the semifinals.
Brooks Laich replied for Canada (3-2).
These teams have faced one another in the semifinals at this tournament for four straight years, with Canada winning the last three after Sweden came out on top in 2006.
The road to this year's semifinal for Canada will likely end up going through the Russians if it isn't able to beat the Czech Republic in its final round robin game on Tuesday.
The top four teams in each division cross over for the quarter-finals and Canada currently sits third in Group F. The star-studded Russians look poised to take first in Group E after winning their 23rd straight world championship game earlier Sunday.
Canada was without top forward Steven Stamkos for the second straight game because of a head injury. He went through an optional practice on Saturday and expressed a desire to play, but the team kept him out as a precaution.
They could have used his offensive ability against a Swedish team that played with serious determination in its own zone after building a lead.
Harju got Sweden on the board just 2:35 into the first period when he raced into the Canadian zone with speed and beat Chris Mason to the blocker side.
The goal seemed to lift the Swedes, who controlled the puck for long stretches and built a 13-4 shots advantage by the time the period was half over.
However, Mason stood tall and started to settle into the rhythm of the game.
The quick goals by Andersson early in the second period changed that. He beat Mason through traffic off the rush at 1:47 before finding himself with time in front and going high to the glove side at 4:41.
That prompted Canadian coach Craig MacTavish to call a timeout and send in Chad Johnson for Mason.
Canada soon started winning some battles in the offensive end and creating traffic, but it couldn't solve Jonas Gustavsson. Signs of frustration started coming through - Corey Perry broke a stick after coming to the bench - and the game got chippy, with Canada's Steve Downie waging a prolonged battle with Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman, his teammate in the NHL with Tampa Bay.
They finally began to breakthrough after killing off a 5-on-3 that lasted 51 seconds in the opening minutes of the third period.
Laich ended Gustavsson's shutout bid at 6:57 after stripping the puck off a Swedish player and beating him high with a backhand deke.
Canada spent most of the last 13 minutes with the puck in the Swedish zone, but was unable to get another puck behind the Swedish goaltender.