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Canada tops Sweden in shootout

by Adam Kimelman

Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the shootout as Canada beat Sweden 2-1 on Saturday in its final tuneup prior to the start of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

It was far from an artistic beauty -- Canada trailed early and gave Sweden eight power plays -- but their surplus of talent provided the difference.

Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Elias Lindholm set up fellow draft candidate Alexander Wennberg, who opened the scoring for Sweden with a power-play goal at 9:39 of the first period.

Sweden had multiple chances to increase its lead as Canada made repeated trips to the penalty box, including nearly seven straight minutes shorthanded midway through the period as Dougie Hamilton was sent off for roughing at 5:10, Huberdeau was whistled for slashing at 7:18, and Boone Jenner was given a major and gross misconduct for charging at 12:13. 

"It happened pretty fast," Jenner said, according to TSN. "I was just in on the forecheck, forechecking hard, just trying to finish my check and thought I made sure my arm and my shoulder were down so I thought it was a clean hit."

Sweden's Jesper Pettersson was injured on the play, and the IIHF will review the penalty and could assess supplemental discipline on Jenner.

"That's kind of out of my control now," Jenner said. "Like I said, I thought it was a clean hit."

Canada's penalty killers and goaltender Jordan Binnington kept the deficit at one goal, long enough for another 2013 NHL Draft hopeful, Jonathan Drouin, to tie the game for Canada at 17:22 of the second.

After a scoreless third period and overtime, Huberdeau scored on Canada's first shot in the shootout. Sweden answered with a goal on its first shot, then Nugent-Hopkins scored to put Canada ahead. Binnington stopped Linus Arnesson, and after Sweden goalie Joel Lassinantti stopped Drouin, Binnington clinched the win with a save on Swedish captain Filip Forsberg.

"We were shorthanded quite a bit there, and then the PK'ers helped me out a crazy amount, so many blocked shots," Binnington said, according to TSN. "Everyone was sacrificing, which was good to see."

Binnington finished with 59 saves on 60 shots, and Lassinantti stopped 57 of 58 shots.

Binnington is competing with Malcolm Subban for Canada's starting job.

"That's not my call," Binnington said. "Malcolm and I, I think we're pretty confident with the games we've played. The team is confident with either one of us in there. So we'll have to wait and see."

Canada will depart for Ufa, Russia, site of this year's tournament, and finish preparations for its opening game, Dec. 26 against Germany (4:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). Sweden, the defending gold medalists, opens Dec. 26 against the Czech Republic (7 a.m. ET).

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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