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Report: Rask to start Olympic opener for Finland, Lehtonen backs up

Feb 12, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

TuukkaRaskFinland Getty Images

Finland will start Boston goalie Tuukka Rask in its Olympic opener against Austria, according to Finnish news outlet MTV.

Rask, 26, was pegged by many to be the starter prior to the tournament, but he said he was unsure how the coaching staff would juggle playing time between himself, Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen and San Jose’s Antti Niemi — even suggesting all three would get a game during the preliminary stage.

Against Austria, though, it’ll be Rask in goal with Lehtonen backing up. That puts Niemi in the No. 3 spot to begin the tournament.

Rask has been his usual stellar self for the Bruins this year, winning 25 games while posting a .928 save percentage and 2.11 GAA.

Following the Austria game, the Finns play Norway before wrapping up group play with a huge tilt against Canada on Sunday.



  1. jpelle82 - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    was there any doubt?

    • pastabelly - Feb 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      I think it would have been a tougher call for Finland if Pekka Rinne were healthy, but Lehtonen has been playing well. The Fins and Americans are probably have the best goalies, but in one game eliminations after the preliminary round, anything can happen among the top six teams.

  2. pastabelly - Feb 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Good preliminary games to watch:

    USA vs Russia on Saturday and Finland vs Canada on Sunday.

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