Crosby, Kunitz lead Canada to gold, 3-0
SOCHI, Russia — It wasn't quite the Golden Goal, but Sidney Crosby's breakaway goal cemented Canada's 3-0 victory over Sweden in the Olympic gold medal game Sunday at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Crosby had no goals in the tournament until beating Henrik Lundqvist with a slick backhander at 15:43 of the second period. That gave Canada a 2-0 lead, and Sweden never came close to counterpunching afterward.
In Vancouver four years ago, Crosby scored in overtime to beat the United States.
“It feels amazing, obviously,” Crosby said. “We had to come here and make real adjustments, to the ice, to what other teams were doing. We had to work. I think our work ethic, our desperation, our defense and our goaltending made the difference. Everyone was committed as a group to getting this done. We stuck with it.”
Crosby said that, as he rushed up ice toward his goal, he recalled being stopped by the U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller with two minutes left in that gold-medal game in Vancouver. And when the Americans tied later, it forced an overtime.
“I didn't want that to happen again,” Crosby said. “I kept telling myself that, if you get a chance like that, you have to make the most of it.”
Chris Kunitz, Crosby's teammate in Pittsburgh, also scored his first goal of the tournament in sensational style with a wicked wrister under the crossbar at 9:04 of the third period.
“It's a great feeling. I can't even describe it,” Kunitz said. “We came here with a plan and a goal, but you really have to come together as a team to get it done. We put our trust in each other.”
And on finally scoring: “It felt really good, to contribute more than anything. I've been a little snake-bitten, but better late than never.”
Kunitz had been hit hard from behind by Sweden's Patrik Berglund in the second period, his nose bloodied. But he said afterward the nose was only “a little off the dasher” and not broken.
Canada goaltender Carey Price made 24 saves for his second consecutive shutout, including the 1-0 victory over the U.S. in the semifinal.
Jonathan Toews scored the first goal on the redirect of a sharp feed from Jeff Carter at 12:55 of the first.
It was Canada's third gold since the NHL began sending players to the Olympics, alongside the 2002 team that featured Mario Lemieux and 2010.