Injury sidelines hockey star Holmström

Tomas Holmström's Olympic dream came an abrupt end this weekend as the Swedish right wing suffered an injury to his left knee while playing for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Holmström, who has 15 goals and nine assists in 47 NHL games this season, will be replaced by Red Wings teammate Johan Franzén, Swedish coach Bengt Åke Gustafsson said.

Holmström missed 13 games in January because of a knee injury and returned for three games before sitting out Tuesday in St. Louis. He returned on Thursday against San Jose but was injured in the first period on Saturday.

Saturday’s NHL game against Ottawa was only Franzén’s third game back following surgery on his left knee.

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Swedish ice hockey team faces strong Russia

The Swedes face a tough test in Saturday's ice hockey world championships semi-final against 2012 winners Russia, who are seeking redemption for their Sochi Olympic flop.

Swedish ice hockey team faces strong Russia
Sweden's Gustav Nyquist goes up against Belarus in the qualifying rounds. Photo: TT

The Swedish squad came to Minsk with ten players who had never played in the world championship before. The team struggled throughout the preliminary round before winning a place in the last four by edging out hosts Belarus 3-2.

This hard-fought win seems to have boosted the Swedes' confidence ahead of the dangerous semi-final confrontation with the Russians.

"They have those two superstars of course, but also a great team," Swede Gustav Nyquist, a Detroit Red Wings right winger, said of Russians Alexander Ovechkin and Yevgeny Malkin.

"But we're good too and have shown what we can do. It'll be a tight game. The results in the quarter-finals goes to show that any team of the four remaining can win this."

Russia, the only team with a perfect record at the event, look favourites to win with strong performances in all areas of the ice, including defence. The team has allowed just seven goals in eight matches.