Rick Nash scored the go-ahead goal to put Canada in the title game of the World Ice Hockey Championships with a 5-4 win over Sweden in Quebec City last night, setting up a championship showdown with Russia tomorrow.
Sergei Fedorov scored the opening goal of the game and Evgeni Nabakov stopped 23 shots to lead Russia to a 4-0 win over Finland in the first game of the semifinal doubleheader.
It will be the first time Canada and Russia have ever met with the world championship on the line. Canada won last year's tournament, which was played in Russia, while Russia last won the title in 1993.
Nash's goal broke a 3-3 tie in the second period, and Mike Green added an insurance goal on the power play with 7 seconds left in the period. Dany Heatley, Ryan Getzlaf and Jamal Meyers also scored for Canada.
Danis Zaripov, Alexei Morozov and Maxim Sushinskiy scored Russia's other goals, avenging a 2-1 semifinal loss to the Finns last year.
It is the Russians' first trip to the final since 2002, when they were beaten 4-3 by Slovakia.
Canada has won 24 world or Olympic championships, Russia just one, but the Soviet Union won 22 titles between 1954 and 1990.
* Jacques Martin has reached an agreement to remain with the Florida Panthers as general manager through the 2011-12 season.
Martin was stripped of his duties as head coach last month but said he would stay on as general manager. He said then that the two jobs were too much for one person. *