COLOGNE, Germany -- Sweden won the ice hockey world championship with a 2-1 victory on penalties over two-time defending champion Canada on Sunday.
Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped three penalties and Ryan O'Reilly hit the post for Canada, as Nicklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored shootout goals for the Swedes to win their first title since 2013.
The game ended 1-1 after overtime when both sides came close to ending the contest with a "sudden death" goal only to be denied by outstanding goalkeeping.
Lundqvist and Canada counterpart Calvin Pickard, who saved William Nylander's first penalty for Sweden, were named best players by their respective teams after a game in which the Canadians narrowly outshot their opponents 43-42.
"This is how close it should be when you get to the final game," Sweden head coach Rikard Gronborg said. "It's a huge win for Swedish hockey."
Lundqvist's twin brother Joel, who captained Sweden, claimed his third worlds gold, one of only two Swedes ever to do so after Sven Tumba in 1953, 1957 and 1962.
"They're both really good guys," Swedish forward Joakim Nordstrom said of the Lundqvist brothers. "On the ice, they really bring a lot to our team but off it too, their presence in the locker room, it's been huge for our team. Joel is a terrific captain."
Sweden claimed its first win over Canada in the final after defeats in 1997, 2003, and 2004.
"It feels like the curse is broken," said Marcus Kruger, who had lost worlds and Olympic finals with Sweden before.
The respect between the sides was evident from the off as defenses held firm in the opening two periods.
The breakthrough came against the odds, with Backstrom penalized for slashing, when Victor Hedman scored short-handed with 20.8 seconds left in the second period.
It was a strange goal from distance as the defenseman just lifted the puck and it somehow bounced in through Pickard's legs. Joel Lundqvist's presence may have distracted the Canadian goaltender.
"It was a fluke goal," Kruger said.
Canada had twice as many shots in the second period.
O'Reilly equalized when he scrambled the puck in off a rebound from Mitch Marner.
It was tense, and fans were left gasping as the action swung from end to end.
Nate MacKinnon missed a good chance to clinch the win for Canada on a power play before overtime when both goaltenders maintained their exceptional form.
Henrik Lundqvist, who was a late addition to Gronborg's roster after the New York Rangers' elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs, ultimately proved the hero.
"He's been great since he came in here. We know what his track record is like. He's a winner and he really showed that today, overall in the game and especially in the shootout, too," Kruger said.
MacKinnon, Brayden Point, O'Reilly and Mitch Marner all missed their shots.
Canada coach Jon Cooper, who said he was immensely proud of his team's effort, was gracious in defeat.
"I want to congratulate Sweden. They were an exceptional team, it was a lot of fun to play them," Cooper said.
"If we were going to lose to somebody, I'm glad those guys won."
Earlier, Nikita Kucherov sealed a 5-3 win for Russia in the bronze medal match against Finland.
"It's not the medal we wanted," Russia head coach Oleg Znarok said.