Sweden falls to last gasp Russian goal

Sweden falls to last gasp Russian goal
Alexander Ovechkin scored with six seconds left as Russia rallied to beat Olympic gold medallists Sweden 3-2 in a qualifying round game at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Quebec City on Saturday.

With the victory Russia maintain their share of first place in Group E at the 16-team tournament which is being held in Canada for the first time in the 100-year history of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin also scored for Russia which is one of four unbeaten teams in the qualifying round.

“Our leaders Ovechkin, Semin and Sergei (Fedorov) they are the backbone of this team,” said Russian goalie Evgeny Nabokov. “And I think they even have to be better, if it is possible. I don’t know if it is possible.”

Mattias Weinhandl and Tony Mårtensson scored for Sweden who led 2-1 at the end of the second period in front of a crowd of 12,665 at the Quebec Colisee arena.

Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the busier of the two netminders making 39 saves. Lundqvist was playing in his second game of the tournament as the New York Rangers star joined the team late.

Russian goalie Evgeny Nabokov, who was playing in his first game, made 28 saves. Like Lundqvist, the San Jose Sharks goalie didn’t arrive in Quebec City until his NHL team had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Referee Peter Orszag handed out three match penalties in the game, including two to Sweden.

Sweden’s Strålman and Douglas Murray each received a match as did Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk.

Strålman said it was Sweden’s best game of the tournament.

“It’s unfortunate they got that last goal,” Strålman said. “I think we played a very good game.”

Murray knocked Russian star Alexei Morozov out of the game in the first period with a hard check. He received a game misconduct for the hit, as did Sweden’s Strålman and Russia’s Kovalchuk for a melee that broke out.

“I thought it was a clean hit, I hit him on the chest and shoulder area,” said Murray, who faces an automatic one-game suspension.