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Ruutu gives Finns a boost

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators forward Jarkko Ruutu leaves the ice after Finland rolled past Belarus 5-1 in its opening game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).

Jarkko Ruutu is on the board and so is Finland at the Vancouver Olympics.

The Ottawa Senators forward hit the scoresheet in the third period as the Finns rolled past Belarus 5-1 at Canada Hockey Place today in their opening game of the 2010 Winter Games hockey tournament.

For Ruutu, it was his first goal in 13 career Olympic contests. He previously saw action in 2002 in Salt Lake City and four years ago in Turin, Italy, when Finland won the silver medal.

Nicklas Hagman of the Calgary Flames, with two, Olli Jokinen of the New York Rangers and Valtteri Filppula of the Detroit Red Wings found the back of the net before Ruutu wrapped up the scoring for the Finns in the third period.

With an assist on Jokinen's goal, Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks tied the Olympic record for most career points with 36.

Finland, which faces Germany on Friday, outshot Belarus 45-12.

Also Wednesday, Daniel Alfredsson and defending champion Sweden blanked Germany 2-0 in their Olympic opener, while the Czech Republic dumped Slovakia 3-1. The Czech roster includes a pair of Senators, forward Milan Michalek and defenceman Filip Kuba.

Late Tuesday night, Anton Volchenkov and Russia got their Olympics off to a roaring start by rolling past Latvia and Kaspars Daugavins 8-2.

Russia takes on Slovakia on Thursday, while Canada — which blew out Norway 8-0 in its opener Tuesday night — tangles with Switzerland and the United States faces Norway.

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