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News

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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 61 21 15 -9 36
J. Huberdeau 58 9 24 4 33
A. Ekblad 61 9 23 6 32
J. Jokinen 60 6 25 -3 31
B. Boyes 59 10 18 6 28
J. Hayes 52 17 10 -5 27
A. Barkov 50 9 12 -4 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 61 3 17 1 20
D. Bolland 37 3 13 2 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 22 16 11 .921 2.38
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
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