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Professional

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NHL

Canada unveils loaded roster for Olympics

Steve Yzerman and the rest of Hockey Canada spent months looking at the country’s top players, trying to figure out the best way to blend talent into a team good enough to win Olympic gold.

The Hall of Fame player and Hockey Canada executive director kept asking himself the same question as months turned into days and then hours before decisions had to be made.

“I’m trying to cram 17 bodies into 14 spots and I couldn’t do that,” Yzerman said Tuesday about all those talented forwards.

Claude Giroux, Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton – all among the NHL’s scoring leaders – didn’t make the cut.

“It came down to fit,” Yzerman said, declining to say exactly why some standouts were snubbed.

Sidney Crosby was a lock to make the star-studded team, and the Penguins’ standout will have plenty of help when Canada tries to win a second straight gold medal next month in Sochi, Russia.

Crosby, who scored the gold-medal winning goal in 2010 against the U.S., will be joined up front by Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Jonathan Toews.

Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Édouard Vlasic and Shea Weber will be on defense. Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith will be in goal.

Also, Washington winger Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit, Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh and Nikolai Kulemin of Toronto were among 15 NHL players named to Russia’s 25-man roster. And Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, defenders Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Zetterberg along with Vancouver’s Daniel and Henrik Sedin were named to Sweden’s roster.

SHARKS 3, PREDATORS 2: In Nashville, Tenn., Mattias Ekholm’s first NHL goal proved to be the game winner for Nashville, which earned its first victory in four games.

David Legwand also had a goal and an assist, and Shea Weber added two assists for the Predators, who have earned points in five of six games.

ISLANDERS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 3: In Toronto, Frans Nielsen, Calvin De Haan and Cal Clutterbuck scored third-period goals to lead New York.

FLYERS 3, DEVILS 2, OT: In Newark, N.J., Brayden Schenn scored at 1:50 of overtime for Philadelphia, which give up a late short-handed goal that forced the extra session.

HURRICANES-SABRES, ppd: The NHL postponed the game in Buffalo, N.Y., because of a snowstorm in western New York. A makeup date has not been determined.

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