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World Championship: Klingberg helps lift Sweden past Latvia

Stars defenseman earns assist, forces key turnover in win to move to 5-1 in preliminary-round play

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars defenseman John Klingberg picked up one assist as Sweden edged Latvia, 5-4, at the 2019 IIHF World Championship on Monday.

Klingberg had a secondary assist on a rush goal by Los Angeles' Adrian Kempe that gave the Swedes a 2-1 lead 13:38 into the second period of the back-and-forth game that saw the Latvians draw even at 4-4 with 3:24 remaining.

 

[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Follow Faksa and Klingberg's quest for gold at Worlds]

 

But with the Latvians needing to win in regulation by two goals to keep their playoff hopes alive, they pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker. After Klingberg helped force a turnover, Dennis Rasmussen scored into the empty net with 34 seconds left to give Sweden a 5-4 victory.

Tweet from @jxcquelineoh: Sweden wins it on an empty netter by Dennis Rasmussen, and with just seconds left in regulation 🚨#IIHFWorlds | #Trekronor pic.twitter.com/HKLkLBkVPA

Along with the one assist in the game, Klingberg led Sweden with 25:07 of ice time, had a plus-3 rating and one shot on goal while playing on the second defense pair with Nashville's Mattias Ekholm. Klingberg has two assists, a plus-4 rating in three games and is leading the Swedes at 22:58 of ice time per game.

Sweden, which is 5-1-0 in Group B, wraps up preliminary-round play Tuesday against undefeated Russia.

Stars center Radek Faksa and Czech Republic, which also is 5-1-0 in Group B, conclude preliminary play Tuesday against Switzerland. Faksa has four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-2 rating in three tournament games.

Both the Czechs and Swedes have clinched their spots in the playoff round, which begins Thursday.

The 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia is a showcase for NHL players of the present, past and future who are not involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 16-nation tournament began May 10 and runs through May 26. For complete coverage, click here.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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