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Sweden holds on during late surge to beat the Czech Republic 4-2

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After jumping out to a four goal lead against the Czech Republic Wednesday, Sweden was able to hold on for a 4-2 victory in the first game of the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament.

The defending World Champions got the scoring started halfway through the first period; when Swedish defenseman Erik Karlsson’s point shot got past goaltender Jakub Kovar. Patrik Berglund would add a tally of his own three minutes later.

The second period would begin with more of the same for Sweden; as captain Henrik Zetterberg would score less than a minute into the frame.

That would mark the end of Kovar’s night; as he was replaced in net by Alexander Salak.

Unfortunately for the Czechs, Salak would let in the first shot he faced, and the team found themselves in a four-goal hole on Karlsson’s second tally of the contest.

After that, the Czech Republic made things interesting.

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky got the Czechs on the board four minutes later, which his slapshot sneaking by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Two minutes later, the ageless Jaromir Jagr brought the deficit to two with a one-handed shot. It appeared that Lundqvist was interfered with by Tomas Plekanec on the play; but much the chagrin of the Swedes, it was upheld upon review.

In the third period, the Czechs continued to attack; outshooting the Swedes 15-5. Henrik Lundqvist proved up to task and cast aside all the shots in the frame, finishing the contest with 27 saves.

"You don't want a game to go perfectly. You want a test," said Lundqvist. "I think it's good for the morale and good for the group here to regroup a little bit."