Toronto: Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves in place of ill star Henrik Lundqvist, and Gabriel Landeskog and Victor Hedman scored second-period goals to help Sweden beat Russia 2-1 on Sunday in their World Cup of Hockey opener.
Alex Ovechkin scored for Russia, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots in the Group B game.
Ovechkin thought he tied it with 7 seconds left, but officials waved it off, ruling the puck went off Ovechkin’s glove and in.
Lundqvist was a late scratch due to an illness, forcing Markstrom to start.
The Russians tested Markstrom early as Vladimir Tarasenko one-timed a shot off Evgeni Malkin’s faceoff win, but Markstrom was able to get his left pad on it and steer it aside just 30 seconds into the game.
Moments later, Tarasenko hit Markstrom in the mask with a shot that the Vancouver goalie was able to shake off.
Landeskog got Sweden on the board with a power-play goal, one-timing Erik Karlsson’s pass over Bobrovsky’s blocker at 10:41 of the second period. Less than two minutes later, Hedman one-timed Carl Hagelin’s feed glove-side past Bobrovsky.
Ovechkin scored with 33 seconds left in the third, putting a wrist shot from the point off the post and past a screened Markstrom.
Russia returns to action on Monday night against Team North America. The Swedes play Finland on Tuesday.