Swedes shoot early and often

Updated: September 1, 2004, 12:51 AM ET
Reuters

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Mats Sundin had a goal and two assists to lead Sweden past Germany 5-2 Tuesday in the World Cup of Hockey opener for both teams.

Sundin's goal was a gem, as he whipped a powerful backhander from the right circle past goalie Olaf Kolzig 1:59 into the second period to give Sweden a 2-1 lead.

"It's always fun to score a goal, to show the new, young guys," said the Swedish captain, at age 33 one of the oldest players on the team. "It was also nice to begin with a win, but it's not easy to start against a team which is not so good on paper, a team you're supposed to beat."

Kim Johnsson, Markus Nilsson and Fredrik Modin also scored second-period goals for Sweden.

Tomas Holmstrom put Sweden ahead with a power-play goal in the opening period when he knocked a rebound past Kolzig from close range.

Markus Naslund and former NHL MVP Peter Forsberg assisted on the goal with a pair of brilliant passes.

Marco Sturm, one of Germany's seven NHL players, tied it 1-1 with a short-handed goal just 1:19 after Holmstrom's goal. Sturm capitalized on Johnsson's sloppy play in Germany's end, skated unchallenged to the other end and beat veteran Swedish goalie Tommy Salo with a wrist shot.

Johnsson made up for the blunder later, scoring a power-play goal from close range midway through the second period to give Sweden a 3-1 lead.

Sundin set up Nilsson with a nice backhand pass for Sweden's fourth goal midway through the second period.

Daniel Kreutzer notched another short-handed goal for Germany a minute later when Salo failed to glove the German's relatively easy shot from just inside the blue line.

"It was a soft goal, but this was not the kind of game Tommy wanted," Nilsson said. "He wants a lot of shots."

Germany only managed three shots on Salo in the opening period. Sweden outshot Germany 42-19 overall.

"Germany was not able to compete in the second period," Germany coach Franz Reindl said. "They were physically stronger

and quicker than us. We took too many penalties."

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