SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Although Switzerland has scored just two goals in three games at the Olympics, Jonas Hiller hasn't allowed any at all — not even to Jaromir Jagr on his 42nd birthday.
That's why the Swiss are heading into the elimination rounds with two victories and the confidence they can beat anybody in front of their standout goalie.
Hiller made 26 saves in his second Olympic shutout, Simon Bodenmann scored in the first period, and Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 1-0 Saturday night in the teams' final preliminary-round game.
Hiller, the starter for the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks, has stopped all 47 shots he has faced over two games in Sochi. His brilliance and his teammates' defense allowed Switzerland to win two of its three games despite scoring the fewest possible goals to accomplish such a feat.
"Everybody is doing an unbelievable job in our own end," Hiller said. "Sacrificing, blocking shots, blocking guys out, clearing rebounds. It makes life easier as a goalie. Same time, I really hope at some point we find a way to score more than just one goal a game, so that takes off a little pressure off the goalies, but we take the win and we're very excited about it."
The Swiss barely survived an inspired third period at Bolshoy Ice Dome by the Czechs, who finished the preliminary round 1-2. Jagr played another outstanding game in his fifth Olympics, but he couldn't beat Hiller after scoring a goal in each of the Czechs' first two games.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 25 shots for the Czechs, who should be a dangerous team in the upcoming elimination games despite their losses.
"Both teams had their chances, but I think we had a little bit more," Pavelec said. "Their goalie played really well, and we hit the post twice. I think they have a good defensive system and it is tough to play against them when they score a goal (early)."