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Kicking Off The Tournament In Different Fashions

Barkov & Finland double up Austria 8-4 while Kopecky & Slovakia fall to the United States 7-1.

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 12:15 PM / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Kicking Off The Tournament In Different Fashions
Barkov & Finland double up Austria 8-4 while Kopecky & Slovakia fall to the United States 7-1.
Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov passes the puck to teammate Teemu Selanne (Getty Images)

The trek for Olympic gold in Sochi began Thursday for both Aleksander Barkov and Tomas Kopecky and their tournaments’ started off in drastically different fashions. 

Barkov, along with Team Finland doubled up Austria 8-4 with Barkov picking up an assist while winning 85% of his face-offs and centering the top line between Mikael Granlund and Finnish great Teemu Selanne. Kopecky and Slovakia were on the wrong end of a 7-1 score, falling to the United States. 

In the first game of the day in Sochi, Finland fell behind 36 seconds in off a goal from Austria's Mikael Grabner, his first of three in the game, and trailed 2-1 halfway through the first period. They responded by scoring the next five goals through the next period and a half for a 6-2 lead after the second. Ahead 6-3 in the third, Barkov set up Jarkko Immonen for a power play goal with 8:35 remaining.

Barkov, the youngest Finnish player in the tournament, finished the game with that power play assist and won 11 of his 13 draws while finishing a plus-2 in a strong Olympic opener. Prior to Sochi, the Flying Finn had competed for Finland in two World Junior tournaments.

A huge second period by the Americans turned a close game into a rout against the Slovakians as they struck for six goals in the middle stanza on their way to a 7-1 win. The US held a 1-0 lead after one thanks to a blast from Washington Capitals’ defenseman John Carlson at 5:33 into the period.

Tomas Tatar and Slovakia evened the score just 24 ticks into the second period but after conceding the goal, the US responded in a huge way tallying three in the ensuing 2:08. The floodgates opened when Ryan Kesler and Paul Stastny scored a little over a minute apart and the US kept rolling with additional goals from David Backes, Stasny, Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown. By the end of the second period the US had stretched their lead to 7-1.

Centering the second line between Tomas Jurco and Branko Radivojevic, Kopecky finished with 17:37 of ice time while winning 5 of his 13 draws.

The Finns are right back at it on Friday, taking on Norway at noon ET (MSNBC) while Slovakia returns to action on Saturday at 3am ET against Slovenia (MSNBC).

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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