NHL

Doughty scores in overtime as Canada defeats Finland

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CBC
2/16/2014 6:24:30 PM
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Canada moved on to the quarter-finals of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but it won't be as the No. 1 seed.

Drew Doughty scored two goals, including the overtime winner at 2:32, as Team Canada earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Finland at Bolshoy Ice Dome Sunday, securing the third seed and a bye into the quarters.

The game-winning goal came as Doughty led the rush into the Finland zone, and ripped a wrist shot through traffic that appeared to deflect off a stick and beat Rask between the legs.

"I just tried to get the puck on goal for a tip or something, and it went in," Doughty told reporters. "I don't know what's going on. I don't usually score goals like that.

"We needed this win today. I think that's how a lot of teams are going to play us throughout the rest of the tournament.

"They're going to kind of sit back and make us make mistakes and, on the turnovers, they're going to jump and try to get odd-man rushes."

Canada will play the qualification-round winner between either 11th-seeded Latvia or sixth-seeded Switzerland in Wednesday's quarterfinals at Noon et.

Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask was spectacular, turning aside 25 shots in the losing effort. Canadian counterpart Carey Price was equally up to the task, although much less busy.

Price, getting the start in place of Roberto Luongo, made 14 saves.

Tuomo Ruutu scored the lone goal for Finland while Mikael Granlund led the club with four shots on goal.

The Canadians needed a regulation win (and the accompanying three points) to clinch the top spot but finished atop Group B with eight points, while Finland was second with seven.

With Canada's overtime win, Sweden officially clinched the top seed, and will face the winner between Slovenia and Austria, with the U.S., sliding into the second spot – going up against either the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

It also means the Canadians and Americans could be on a collision course going forward as there is a chance they could meet in the semifinals.

Both clubs played stingy defensive games, but the pace of play was quick and exciting. They made few mistakes, shutting down scoring opportunities whenever they arose. And when they did, the goaltenders were there to deny them.

Canada controlled much of the possession game in the third period but couldn't solve Rask.

The red-and-white looked fluid and crisp in the second frame, counter attacking whenever they could. Canada would outshoot Finland 9-4 in the period, but the Finns were the only team to convert a scoring opportunity when Tuomo Ruutu redirected a point shot.

Canada struck first in the opening frame thanks to some hard work by the newly formed Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron-Jamie Benn line.

Crosby drew a key penalty late in the first period, and the Canadians would capitalize on the opportunity. At 13:44, L.A. Kings blue-liner Doughty sent a wrist shot whistling over Rask's shoulder to make it 1-0.

Six of Canada's 10 Olympic goals have come from the defence, while it was Doughty's fourth of the tournament. Crosby and Shea Weber would also earn assists on the play.

Prior to the Olympics, Doughty had scored just twice in his previous 27 games.

Rask, however, responded.

The 26-year-old later showed why it's not a smart idea to test him on the glove side. Patrick Sharp and Chris Kunitz, who have been shuffled in and out of the lineup, teamed up to create a marvellous scoring opportunity just after the Canadians had just gone up 1-0.

Sharp sent a pass to a wide-open Kunitz, who ripped a one timer that was picked off the by glove side of Rask.

Jonathan Toews came close minutes later with an attempted wraparound, but Rask recovered to thwart the chance.

Bergeron takes blast in midsection

Bergeron found out just how hard Weber's slap shot. Midway through the opening period, he took a booming blast from the Nashville Predator  – who is tied for the NHL lead among defenceman in goals with 15 - in his midsection, and tried to play the puck before hobbling off the ice.

He was in visible pain but returned to the game.


Lineup shuffling

Much has been made of head coach Mike Babcock's lineup shuffling.

He replaced reigning Art Ross Trophy winner Martin St. Louis with Patrick Sharp, while substituting incumbent Norris Trophy winning defenceman P.K. Subban with Dan Hamhuis.

Sidney Crosby had some new linemates to start the game as Babcock broke up what was arguably one of Canada's best trios against Austria. Benn and Bergeron flanked the Penguins sniper, after the pair skated alongside Islanders forward John Tavares on Friday.


Injury woes

Finland was without forward Aleksander Barkov, who is out of the Olympic tournament with a knee ailment. It was the latest in a list of significant injuries for the Finns. Star Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Valtteri Filppula both suffered ankle injuries before the Sochi Games.

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