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Sweden, without Zetterberg, faces Switzerland

by Brian Hunter


When: Friday, 7:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: With each team coming off a victory in its opener, the winner is in the driver's seat to win Group C. For Sweden, that's pretty much what the expectation was heading into the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but Switzerland has an opportunity to put itself in control by pulling off the upset.

Sweden: The Swedes' hopes for a gold medal took a major hit a few hours before game time when captain Henrik Zetterberg was ruled out for the rest of the Olympics. Zetterberg has been hampered by a herniated disk that forced him to miss 13 games with the Detroit Red Wings this season. However, he did play in the opening game and scored what proved to be the winning goal in a 4-2 victory against the Czech Republic.

"I have not been able to move much, had a rough night," Zetterberg told

"You cannot keep going like this," he said. "It's the same as in December."

Sweden cannot replace Zetterberg on the roster and will be forced to go with 24 players.

Sweden scored five unanswered goals and recorded a 5-1 win over Switzerland to win gold at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Henrik Sedin, who isn't in Sochi due to a rib injury, had two goals and an assist in that game. Loui Eriksson, who will play Friday, also scored for Sweden.

Switzerland: Improvement from the first game to the second will be necessary for the Swiss, who avoided a monumental upset to Latvia by getting a fortunate bounce on Simon Moser's goal with 7.9 seconds left in regulation. Goalie Jonas Hiller ended up having to be perfect and he was, making 21 saves on his 32nd birthday in a 1-0 win. Reto Berra will get the nod against Sweden.

"We've got two very good teams to come," defenseman Julien Vauclair told the IIHF website. "The Swedes and the Czechs are among the best in the world. But we showed some really aggressive hockey out there and we have a chance. Now we focus on Sweden and we'll try to win that game."

Switzerland generated 39 shots against Latvia, including several quality chances by Damien Brunner, but will have to do a better job of capitalizing against tougher opposition.

"I thought we played a pretty decent game but just couldn't find a way to put the puck in the back of the net," Hiller said. "The longer the game goes like that the tougher it gets. You start trying new things that don't always work and try to get too fancy. We'll take the three points and go from here."

What's next: Group C play ends Saturday with all four teams playing on consecutive days. Sweden will be a heavy favorite against Latvia, while Switzerland figures to have its hands full with the Czech Republic.

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