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Anxiety and excitement at Canada-Germany playoff qualifier

February 23, 2010 |  5:12 pm

Canada Hockey Place is a sea of red as fans try to boost Canada past Germany and into the Olympic hockey quarterfinals.

For which Canada's reward would be facing Russia, which was supposed to be the dream finals matchup until Canada needed a shootout to beat Switzerland and lost to the U.S. in the preliminary round of the tournament.

Canada took a 1-0 lead after Duncan Keith's shot from the point skidded behind the net, where Dany Heatleycontrolled it and fed San Jose teammate Joe Thornton for a quick wrist shot that got past goalie Thomas Greiss, another of the many Sharks in this tournament, at 10:13 of the first period.

Canada Coach Mike Babcock has made several lineup changes. Roberto Luongo, greeted with affectionate cheers of "Lou" in the arena that he calls home with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, started in goal in place of Martin Brodeur. Babcock also switched up his lines, producing these combinations:

Rick Nash-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry

Eric Staal-Sidney Crosby-Jarome Iginla

Patrick Marleau-Thornton-Heatley

Mike Richards-Jonathan Toews-Brenden Morrow.

He moved his seven defensemen around, as he had in previous games. But the most common pairings were:

Scott Niedermayer-Shea Weber

Chris Pronger-Dan Boyle

Keith-Drew Doughty.

He also paired Keith with Boyle and Suter with Brent Seabrook.

More later at www.latimes.com/sports

-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver