Canada vs. Latvia Olympic Hockey 2014: Live Grades, Analysis for Team Canada

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Canada vs. Latvia Olympic Hockey 2014: Live Grades, Analysis for Team Canada
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Shea Weber saved the day.

The defenseman's power-play goal late in the third period helped Canada to a surprisingly hard-fought 2-1 victory against Latvia on Wednesday, setting up a semifinal showdown with Team USA on Friday.

Canada outshot Latvia 57-15 yet needed nearly 55 minutes to break through for a second goal.

An injury to center John Tavares in the second period forced Mike Babcock to mix up his lines during the third period, so the final grades include what certain players did with new linemates.

Team Canada Grades
Combination/Pairing After 1st After 2nd Final
Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron B+ B B
Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry C B+ B+
Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter B B+ A
Patrick Sharp-John Tavares-Martin St. Louis/Rick Nash A B B
Duncan Keith-Shea Weber A A A
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo D B B
Marc-Edouard Vlasic/Dan Hamhuis-Drew Doughty B+ B A
Carey Price B A B+
Special Teams A+ A A+

vs. Latvia

Final analysis

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron: There was a lot to like about this line. They combined for seven shots and had some dangerous shifts in the first period.

Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry: They were a physical force and generated 12 shots between them.

Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter: This group put 13 shots on net. In what has been a common theme during the Olympics, the lines centered by Getzalf and Toews have been the most dangerous.

Patrick Sharp-John Tavares-Martin St. Louis/Rick Nash: This group became an afterthought in the third period with Tavares out of the game. Nash took some shifts with other lines but Sharp and St. Louis didn't see much action in the third.

Duncan Keith-Shea Weber: Weber scored the winner as this pairing dominated defensively.

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo: They were the pairing that got caught on the ice for Latvia's goal.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic/Dan Hamhuis-Drew Doughty: Doughty had an assist on Weber's goal and continues to be the team's most consistent offensive threat.

Carey Price: He wasn't asked to do much but a made a few key saves in the third period with the game in the balance.

Special Teams: They were perfect on the PK and scored on the power play. In a game this close, special teams made the difference.

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