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Sweden 6, Latvia 1

NHL.com @NHL

TURIN, Italy (AP) - Peter Forsberg is back. Not surprisingly, so is Sweden.

Despite being eased into the lineup because of a slow-healing groin problem, Forsberg set up two goals in his first game of the Olympic men's hockey tournament, helping the Swedes rebound from a shutout loss with an easy 6-1 victory over Latvia on Saturday.

"Pretty good for not playing for 3 1/2 weeks," Forsberg said with a smile.

He assisted on Sweden's first and fourth goals, said he played around 15 minutes and joked that his line, the fourth, "got moved up to second, actually." He added that "it felt very weird" not being on the power play.

That could change as early as Sunday, when the Swedes (2-1) play the U.S. in a game likely to affect seeding for the quarterfinals.

Latvia (0-2-1) is making its tie against the Americans look more and more like a fluke. Since then, the Latvians allowed four first-period goals in a 6-3 loss to Slovakia and five almost halfway through this game. It was 6-0 when Maris Ziedins beat Henriq Lundqvist midway through the final period for Latvia's lone goal.

Samuel Pahlsson and P.J. Axelsson were the beneficiaries of Forsberg's assists. Daniel Alfredsson scored twice, and Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Sweden.

The Swedes broke the game open with four goals over the first eight minutes of the second period, two coming 18 seconds apart.

Forsberg, the hero of Sweden's 1994 gold medal victory and part of the 1998 team, missed his last eight games with the Philadelphia Flyers and first two of the Olympics due to his injury. After skating alone Thursday and practicing Friday, he felt so comfortable Saturday that he sometimes hopped the boards to the bench instead of using the door.

He drew a penalty on his first shift, then later in the first period stole the puck and fired a shot that goaltender Sergejs Naumovs sprawled to block, leaving Pahlsson an easy mop-up goal.

During the second-period barrage, Forsberg's great stickwork set Axelsson up with plenty of room for his goal.

"Every time he stepped on the ice, we knew it," Ziedins said.

Ziedens said he thought Forsberg played a bit passively. Forsberg said once the game became lopsided "there was no need for me to go out and run people."

Could he have?

"First period, I got a little tired. Other than that, I felt good," said Forsberg, who now has 12 assists and three goals in 13 career Olympic games.

Lundqvist bounced back following a 5-0 loss to Russia, although it helped that he saw only two shots in the first period and 14 for the game.

Naumovs replaced Arturs Irbe after his two starts and stopped 34 of 40 shots.

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