By Josh Ferguson
The defending Olympic gold medalists from Sweden opened its tournament with a closely-contested 2-0 win over Germany in Group C play at Canada Hockey Place Wednesday.
The Germans showed they were not a team to be overlooked by outshooting the Swedes 7-6 in the first period. Neither team was able to capitalize on its chances, though, and the game was scoreless going into the intermission.
After Germany rang a couple shots off the post to open the second, Sweden’s Mattias Ohlund broke the deadlock on the power play with a slap shot from the right point through a screen that beat German keeper Thomas Greiss at 4:29 of the middle frame.
Greiss contested Daniel Sedin, who provided the screen on the Ohlund blast, interfered with him on the play, but the goal stood and the Swedes took a 1-0 lead. Mattias Weinhandl and Tobias Enstrom picked up helpers on the goal.
Sweden made it a two-goal lead when Loui Eriksson buried a cross-crease pass from Nicklas Backstrom with 5:47 left in the second.
The Germans outshot the Swedes 11-9 in the third, but the defending champs hung on for the tournament-opening win.
New York Rangers backstop Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 21 shots he faced for Sweden, earning his first career shutout in Olympic competition. Greiss did everything he could to help his team win and stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced in a losing effort.
Sweden went 1-for-6 on the power play, while Germany failed to capitalize on four man advantages.
Peter Forsberg made his return to North America and finished the game with no points and no shots in just less than 13 minutes of ice time.
Sweden (1-0) will meet Belarus when Group C round robin play continues Friday afternoon. Germany (0-1) looks to rebound against Finland later that day.