Team USA wins opener 3-1

USA 3 – Switzerland 1
Team USA played the type of game that many expected, playing a tight defensive game and scoring timely goals as Team USA defeated Switzerland 3-1 in their opening game of the Olympics.
Bobby Ryan (1), David Backes (1) and former Penguin Ryan Malone (1) all scored for Team USA.
Malone’s power play goal at 8:25 in the second period gave Team USA a 3-0 lead.
USA limited Switzerland to 15 shots as goaltender Ryan Miller (1-0) made 14 saves in the win. Switzerland was never a threat offensively.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller made 21 saves in the loss for Switzerland.
Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was paired with Jack Johnson and played a solid defensive game and was a +1.
Meanwhile, defenseman Ryan Whitney played top four minutes, paired with Erik Johnson for much of the game.
However, the injury status of Johnson will be something to watch leading up to Thursday’s game as Johnson was favoring his right knee in the third period.
Forward Bobby Ryan was one of USA’s top performers upfront and will be a key player to USA’s hopes of earning a medal.
Ryan, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, was seen as somewhat as a surprise pick when Anaheim selected Ryan over defenseman Jack Johnson.
Team USA GM Brian Burke, who drafted Ryan, was asked about that on Monday and gave credit to former Anaheim Ducks/Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Chuck Fletcher for the selection of Ryan.
“What he’s turned into, Chuck Fletcher deserves the credit, not me, ” Burke said.
Team USA returns to action Thursday afternoon against Norway.

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William DePaoli

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William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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