Preds play a role in Olympic wins

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 2:34am
Staff Reports
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Ryan Suter celebrates Team USA's third goal Tuesday at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The Predators’ Ryan Suter must have felt right at home as the ‘kids’ of Team USA lead their Olympic team to a 3-1 victory of Switzerland in Tuesday’s Group A opener.

Suter had an assist for the Americans who rode the sticks of 25-year-old David Backes and 22-year-old Bobby Ryan, who scored the game’s first goal just a minute left in the first period.

Youth and a lack of experience was supposed to be the bugaboo for Team USA in the 2010 Olympic tournament, and it may have surfaced briefly with Suter when the Swiss got its only goal.

Suter, 25, Nashville’s blueliner, was called for roughing late in the third period — only the second penalty against Team USA — that opened the door for a power-play tally that spoiled any chance of a shutout for goalie Ryan Miller.

In what had all the makings of a Ryan festival, Suter’s assist came on Ryan Malone’s power-play goal.

Fellow Preds’ defensemen Shea Weber also got an assist — and two penalty minutes — Tuesday when Team Canada blanked Norway 8-0.

Weber assisted on Mike Richards goal, Canada’s third of three goals scored in the second period — after a surprisingly scoreless first period. Jerome Iginla’s hat trick highlighted Canada’s win.

Canada and the United States will swap opponents on Thursday, with the Americans taking on Norway at 11 a.m. (CDT); Canada and Switzerland later that day.

Finally, Alexander Radulov, still under contract with Nashville but playing in Russia this season, had a goal in his country’s 8-2 win over Latvia late Tuesday night.

Predators on the ice Wednesday will be Marcel Goc and Alexander Sulzer for Germany as they take on teammate Patric Hornqvist and Sweden. And in Wednesday’s late game, Martin Erat and the Czech Republic faces off against Slovakia.