Torino, Italy (Sports Network) - Nicklas Lidstrom scored the eventual game- winning goal just 10 seconds into the third period and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made it stand, as Sweden captured the gold medal by downing Finland 3-2 in the Olympic ice hockey gold medal game.
Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronvall added second period power-play goals for Sweden, which captured its first gold medal since the 1994 Games. Lundqvist, a rookie netminder for the New York Rangers, made 25 saves.
"I'd rank this right up there with winning Stanley Cups," Lidstrom said. "You don't get many chances to compete in a tournament like this with the best players from different countries. It could be the biggest goal I've ever scored."
Veterans Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin added assists in the win.
"We finally won something big with this team, and we showed that we can win together," Forsberg said. "It might have been our last chance. It's hard to describe."
Kimmo Timonen and Ville Peltonen lit the lamp for Finland, which won the first seven contests in the tournament before suffering defeat in its biggest game to settle for the silver.
Finland received its first medal since a bronze finish in the 1998 Games.
"When you lose like this, by one goal, all the emotions that you build up and build up are gone, and it's an extremely empty, disappointing feeling," Finland's Saku Koivu said. "Maybe mentally we were too careful. When we had chances to apply pressure, we didn't. We wanted to protect our net, and we didn't play as loose as we did earlier."
NHL rookie Antero Niittymaki, who may create a goalie controversy when he returns to his Philadelphia Flyers, stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced in the loss.
Niittymaki splits time with Team USA goaltender Robert Esche in Philadelphia, and with his latest performance, Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock may have some shuffling to do.
Tied at 2-2 heading into the third period, Lidstrom found the back of the net for his second goal of the tournament.
Forsberg carried into the zone and eventually found Sundin with the puck. Sundin then dropped the disc back to the point where Lidstrom ripped a shot past Niittymaki just 10 seconds in.
"After Mats pretty much just laid it out for me, I tried to go high blocker side, and I hit it perfectly," Lidstrom said. "I got everything on the shot. It went in the spot where I was aiming. We talked about that before the game: Try to go high on him if you have a lot of time."
The offenses stalled from there and, with 1:30 left in the game, Finland called a timeout to set things up to try and tie the contest. With an extra attacker on, Finland won the draw, but Sweden deflected the chance and got the puck out of the zone.
Finland's Olli Jokinen saw the best chance to tie the contest with under 30 seconds left, but he was kept out of the net by Lundqvist from the left side of the goal.
The clock then reached all zeros and Team Sweden's bench jumped onto the ice to celebrate.
Timonen's power-play goal with 5:15 left in the first gave Finland an early 1-0 edge after his shot from the left point trickled through Lundqvist's five hole and into the net.
Given Finland's history in this year's games, the 1-0 lead may have been enough as five of Finland's seven wins had come by shutout. Three of those were by Niittymaki, who was named the tournament's MVP.
However, a pair of power-play goals in the second frame staked Sweden to a 2-1 edge.
Zetterberg netted the first tally after his shot from the right side of the net redirected off Niittymaki's leg and into the goal 4:42 into the period.
Sweden then took a one-goal advantage with 6:36 remaining as Kronvall corralled a pass at the point before fighting his way into the high slot and firing a shot past Niittymaki's blocker.
Finland, though, netted the equalizer before the end of the second. The first even-strength goal of the contest came with 5:00 left as Jussi Jokinen sent a backhanded pass from in close to Peltonen, who hit the disc into the net from the right side of the goal past Lundqvist.
02/26 20:58:16 ET