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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Erik Karlsson
If it was Ales Hemsky's last game with the Edmonton Oilers, he went out on a high note.
Cody Ceci scored a second-period goal and the Ottawa Senators downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 before a crowd of more than 50,000 Sunday in the Heritage Classic.
Johan Franzen has no explanation for his success in Ottawa, a place he certainly enjoys playing in.
Sweden beat up and defeated its biggest rival, and the reward is a shot at a second gold medal in the last three Olympics.
Erik Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 25 saves, lifting the Swedes over Finland 2-1 on Friday and into the Olympic hockey final.
Who's your pick to win the gold? Vegas has its money on Team Canada.
No team that went unbeaten in group play has won an Olympic gold medal since the NHL joined the games in 1998. Every champion was forced to regroup after getting beaten early in the tournament, from the Czech Republic in 1998 to the host Canadians four years ago in Vancouver.
Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson picked up assists on a pair of pivotal goals in Sweden's win over Latvia on Saturday.
Sweden escaped with a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Friday morning after a long battle of blocked shots and terrific goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist and Reto Berra.
The Swedes (2-0) moved into a favorable position to earn a spot in the quarterfinals as the only undefeated team in Group C. With a victory over winless Latvia on Saturday, they would be among the final eight in the 12-nation tournament.
Nicklas Backstrom notched an assist in the second period on Sweden's fourth goal in what ended up a 4-2 victory for the favorites.
Erik Karlsson's impressive Olympic debut demonstrated why Sweden has more than enough talent to win it all.
Capitals wing Martin Erat had a rough afternoon with a delayed call penalty in the first that set up a goal and a nasty hit in the third period.
Sweden scored early and often. Switzerland waited until the last minute.
Last in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres can't catch a break.
"We started well and then we started trading chances with them and we really couldn't keep up," Karlsson said. "Their goalie obviously made some huge saves for them and we couldn't put it in the net obviously. I think we could have played a little bit smarter."
''They had a good game plan against us, and they stuck to it," Sweden defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "We couldn't really break through a brick wall."