Canada-Finland Olympic Hockey: Patrice Bergeron To Play With Sidney Crosby; Tuukka Rask Starts


tuukka raskCanada and Finland are 2-0 in the preliminary round at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi ahead of the two teams’ meeting Sunday, and both are making some lineup changes with Group B on the line.

After not playing in the team’s second game against Norway, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for Finland, per Tim Wharnsby of CBC. He allowed four goals on 20 shots in the opener against Austria — an 8-4 win for the Fins. In Rask’s defense, the majority of those goals weren’t his fault as Finland’s defensemen forced him to stop many Grade A scoring chances and made defensive breakdowns all game.

Rask will be opposed by Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who will make his second start for Canada, per Wharnsby Price. Price played in the Canadians’ 3-1 win over Norway, where he played well but not great. He mishandled a puck behind his net in the second period that led to Norway’s only goal.

This is a huge game for both goalies because a loss Sunday could put them in a backup role for the remainder of the tournament. Each head coach has two top-tier goalies behind Rask and Price ready to step in if needed.

Despite scoring six goals in its most recent game, Canada is making some line changes. Here the forward combinations and scratches announced by Hockey Canada.

Jamie Benn — Sidney Crosby — Patrice Bergeron

Patrick Marleau — Jonathan Toews — Jeff Carter

Matt Duchene — Ryan Getzlaf — Corey Perry

Chris Kunitz — John Tavares — Rick Nash

Scratches: Martin St. Louis (winger) and P.K. Subban (defenseman)

The Bergeron-Crosby duo is an intriguing one. As the best defensive forward in hockey, Bergeron will do the dirty work in all three zones and defend Finland’s top forwards, which could free up Crosby to do more offensively. The Canadian captain and NHL scoring leader has scored zero goals with one assist in two Olympic games. Benn and Bergeron have been arguably Canada’s best wingers in this tournament, so expect a more productive Crosby against Finland.

Puck drop is scheduled for noon ET. Follow NESN’s live blog for live updates, highlights and analysis.

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