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World Juniors 2015: Sweden vs Russia preview, TV schedule, roster news, & more

Sweden and Russia met less than a week ago. Today they meet again for the right to play in the World Junior Championship Finals. Semi-Final action from Toronto begins at 4:00 PM EST.

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Four teams remain in the World Junior Tournament. Russia and Sweden face-off to decide which team will have the chance to bring home gold for their country. It's amazing how quickly this tournament progresses, and how the teams are narrowed down to the final competitors, in what seems to be a quick and callous elimination for the defeated who go home empty handed.

Sweden and Russia will meet for the second time this week. Sweden beat Russia 3-2 in a close and heated game contested last Monday night in Toronto.

Puck drop is at 4:00 PM EST. (TSN 1, TSN 3, TSN 4, TSN 5 / TSN GO / RDS 2 / NHL Network)

The Swedes have beat the Russians six games in a row over the years at the World Junior tournament, each game having been won by one goal margins. Sweden is coming off of a quarterfinal victory over Finland that was broken open 1:24 into the third period by an Adrien Kempe powerplay goal that gave the Swedes a 4-3 lead, and ultimately a 6-3 win. Russia defeated the United States in their quarterfinal on the strength of a 39 save performance from goaltender Igor Shestyorkin by a score of 3-2.

If anything separates these two teams it's special teams. Sweden has the best special teams in the tournament, having scored 12 powerplay goals and having not given up a single goal on the penalty kill.

Team Comparison Chart

Sweden Russia
4-0-0-0 Prelim. Round Record 1-1-0-2
24 Goals For 16
9 Goals Against 11
50% Powerplay % 30%
100% Penalty Kill % 73.68%

Habs prospect Jacob de la Rose was not much of a factor in the game played last week between Sweden and Russia. He'll want to put that one behind him, though he has been held pointless since game two against Denmark when he had a goal and two assists. Sweden has been relying on offense from all over the line-up, including a huge contribution from defenseman and Vancouver Canucks prospect Gustav Forsling, who has 8 points (3G, 5A) and is tied for second in scoring with Canada's Nic Petan. Two Swedes - Philadelphia Flyer's property Oskar Lindblom and Toronto Maple Leafs darling William Nylander - lead the scoring race, tied with Canada's Sam Reinhart with 9 points.

The Russians have been playing a more quiet game. Slowly building their poise throughout games, and then either riding it out as they did in their quarter-final match up against the United States, or having it fall under the pressure as they did against Sweden in the preliminary round. Vyascheslav Leshchenko leads his team offensively with 5 points (3G, 2A). It might be up to Igor Shestyorkin to put in another outstanding performance in goal if Russia plans on advancing to the final game Monday night against either Canada or Slovakia.

Team Sweden Projected Lineup
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Oskar Lindblom Axel Holmstrom William Nylander
Adrian Kempe Lucas Wallmark (A) Adam Brodecki
Leon Bristedt Jacob de la Rose (C) Anton Blidh
Victor Olofsson Christoffer Ehn Jens Looke
Left Defense Right Defense
Robert Hagg (A) Julius Bergman
Sebastian Aho William Lagesson
Gustav Forsling Robin Norell
Andreas Englund
Goaltenders
Linus Soderstrom
Samuel Ward

Team Russia Projected Lineup
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Vyacheslav Leshchenko Ivan Barbashyov Pavel Buchnevich (A)
Vladimir Bryukvin Alexander Sharov Maxim Mamin
Nikolai Goldobin Vladislav Kamenev Sergei Tolchinskiy
Anatoliy Golyshev Ivan Fishchenko Alexander Dergachyov

Left Defense Right Defense
Rushan Rafikov (A) Dmitriy Yudin
Vladislav Gavrikov (C) Rinat Valiyev
Alexander Bryntsev Nikita Cherepanov
Ziyat Paygin Ivan Provorov

Goaltenders
Igor Shestyorkin
Ilya Sorokin