Switzerland forward Simon Moser shot sails past Latvia goaltender Edgars Masalskis in the closing seconds of the game to give Switzerland a 1-0 victory during the 2014 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey game at Shayba Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Girgensons: Last-second loss to Switzerland ‘tough one to swallow’


Taking a step back, Latvia did well to just hold its own against Switzerland in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss, but that’s a small consolation right now. They were within seconds of taking the Swiss to overtime when Nashville Predators prospect Simon Moser ended the scoreless tie.

“Brutal — that’s a tough one to swallow,” Buffalo Sabres and Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons said, according to the Olympic News Service.

Latvian goaltender Edgars Masalskis was willing to look on the bright side though after turning aside 38 of 39 shots. He felt this contest demonstrated that they were capable of competing against challenging opponents, but he added that he would like to see the team play “braver” going forward.

“It’s hockey, somebody wins and somebody loses. But it’s a great pity, eight seconds,” Masalskis said. “Today we have showed that we can play against a very strong opponent. We’ll continue to fight the very next game.”

While Latvia did generate some scoring opportunities, it’s also fair to say that Switzerland was pounding them throughout the game and Latvia had to rely heavily on Masalskis and some great defensive plays to stay in this one for as long as they did.

“Our whole line was clicking and we had a lot of shots on the net, but you have to give the goalie credit as he made some big saves,” Damien Brunner remarked. “We stayed positive on the bench, even when it was close at the end. We had the most great effort and took some hard strides to get some room in between their goalie and defencemen.”

The Swiss stuck with it though, until it finally paid off. This was a key win for them ahead of their tough matches against Sweden on Friday and the Czech Republic on Saturday.


Switzerland stuns Latvia with late game-winner

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer