Finns, Timonen fall to Sweden, 2-1

(Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, the last Flyer playing in the Olympics, and Finland dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Sweden in Friday's semifinals.

Sweden, 5-0 in the tourney, will play Canada in Sunday's gold-medal game at 7:00 a.m. Eastern, after Canada shut out the United States in the other semi.

Finland will meet the U.S. in Saturday's bronze-medal game at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist finished with 25 saves in Sweden's win.

The Swedes are not known for physical play, but they brought it on Finland star Teemu Selanne and his teammates.

"A bronze medal would be an unbelievable thing," Selanne told reporters afterward. "So, that is our goal now even though it is very disappointing right now."

All the scoring came in the second period. Finland's Olli Jokinen scored 6:17 into the game from a sharp angle to the left of Lundqvist. Loui Eriksson tied the game for the Swedes by finishing off a sweet sequence of passes midway through the period. Karlsson made it 2-1 with a slap shot from the middle of the ice just inside the blue line with 3:34 remaining. 

Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves for the Finns while filling in for Tuukka Rask, who didn't play because of an unspecified illness. 

Lehtonen kept his team in the game, but the defensive-minded Finns struggled to generate many scoring chances. When they did, Lundqvist made the stops required. 

It was yet another strong performance from the goaltender who led the Swedes to gold eight years ago, when they beat Finland in the final of the Turin Games.

The Finns' last Olympic win against Sweden, their European neighbor, was in 1998, the first games with NHL players. Finland went on to win bronze in Nagano, and it has earned three medals in the NHL era, more than any other nation. 

"I have a nice trophy case at home," Selanne told reporters after Friday's game. "Three medals from Olympics, it would be nice to have four." 

The Swedes can join Canada as the only country to win two gold medals since NHL players began participating in the Olympics. It would be quite a feat for a team missing three of its best players, all of whom would be top-line forwards. 

Captain Henrik Zetterberg pulled out of the Olympics after playing in one game because of a herniated disk. Henrik Sedin, Daniel's twin, and Johan Franzen didn't make the trip to Russia because of injuries.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

This post contains information from the Associated Press.