Finland loses Tuukka Rask to flu for Olympic semifinal; Kari Lehtonen starts

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Finland loses Tuukka Rask to flu for Olympic semifinal; Kari Lehtonen starts
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SOCHI, Russia – Goaltending depth was the calling card for Finland entering the Sochi Olympics. In their most important game to date, it’ll be tested.

Tuukka Rask, who was strong in Finland’s ouster of the Russians in the quarterfinals, missed their semifinal game against rival Sweden on Friday with the flu. Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars gets the start, having given up one goal on 21 shots in a 6-1 win over Norway.

Antti Niemi, who has yet to see the ice in the tournament, is the backup.

Rask is 2-1 in the tournament with a 2.30 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

With a trip to the gold medal game on the line, Finland will be without its top goalie. Then again, they’re also without their top three centers and still managed to oust Russia. And obviously Kari Lehtonen is no slouch.