Canada took advantage of a five-minute power play midway through the first period to take a 2-1 lead against Russia after one period in their preliminary round finale.
The winner of the game claims first place in Group B and earns a bye into the semifinals, while the loser finishes second in the group and plays Switzerland in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
Russia's Valeri Nichushkin, a top 2013 NHL Draft prospect, was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind at 11:44 of the period.
Dougie Hamilton's blast from the point off a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set-up at 14:04 put Canada on the board, and then Mark Scheifele jumped on the rebound of a Jonathan Huberdeau shot, kicked it onto his forehand to create space, and beat goalie Andrey Makarov from in close to make it 2-0 at 15:58.
A Canada giveaway in its own end let Russia score its goal. Scheifele tried maneuvering the puck through the defensive zone when it rolled off his stick right to Nikita Kucherov, who jumped on the loose puck and one-timed a shot from the high slot that beat goalie Malcolm Subban at 17:36.
Back with more after the second period.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK