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Worlds: U.S., Canada rally; Russia also wins

Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 5:20 PM / News

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Worlds: U.S., Canada rally; Russia also wins
Erik Johnson scored twice for the U.S. as it rallied to beat Austria 5-3 on Saturday in its opener in the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Erik Johnson and the United States didn't let an early two-goal deficit get them down.

Johnson scored twice in a four-goal second period for the United States as it rallied to beat Austria 5-3 on Saturday in its opener of the 2013 IIHF World Championship at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.

David Moss, Tim Stapleton and Aaron Palushaj had the other goals for the Americans, and Ben Bishop made 18 saves.

Things didn't go as planned at the start, when Bishop was beaten twice in the opening six minutes. Manuel Latusa opened the scoring at 4:58 of the first period, and 40 seconds later Austria doubled the lead on a goal by Daniel Welser.

The United States got one back by midway through the period when Moss scored, then Johnson drew them even 3:38 into the second.

The Americans went in front to stay when Stapleton and Palushaj scored 86 seconds apart midway through the period. Austria cut it to 4-3 on a David Schuller goal, but Johnson capped the offense by beating Bernhard Starkbaum for a second time with 1:28 left in the second.

"They deserved the lead," Stapleton told the IIHF website of Austria. "The biggest thing for us is the size of the rink. We know we have to hold on to the puck more and that we have more time than we think. And that showed in the second period."

Justin Faulk, Drew LeBlanc, Danny Kristo and Nick Bjugstad each had a pair of assists for the United States, which plays Latvia on Sunday.

Starkbaum made 24 saves for Austria, which faces France on Sunday.

Canada 3, Denmark 1: The Canadians didn't exactly come storming out of the gates, either, spotting Denmark a 1-0 lead it held until more than halfway through the game, but a pair of goals from Matt Duchene led the comeback in a game played at Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Steven Stamkos also scored, and Devan Dubnyk shook off the early goal against to make 24 saves for Canada.

"The first period was a little tough," Andrew Ladd told the IIHF website, "but once we got our legs things got better for us."

Denmark captain Morten Green gave his club the lead on a power play 4:50 into the first period. The goal came 24 seconds after a slashing penalty on Eric Staal.

Denmark maintained that lead until just beyond the midway point of the second, when Jordan Eberle teamed with Duchene for the tying goal. Canada went in front 83 seconds later, when Stamkos scored the game-winning goal on a power play.

Duchene ended any thoughts of a Denmark rally with his second of the game 7:03 into the third. Eberle picked up his second assist.

Simon Nielsen made 33 saves for Denmark, which next plays Norway on Sunday. Canada gets Switzerland, which upset Sweden in its opening game Friday.

Russia 6, Latvia 0: Ilya Bryzgalov needed to make 15 saves to record the shutout, and six players scored for Russia, which won gold at last year's tournament.

Getting its title defense started in Helsinki, the Russians received a goal and an assist each from Ilya Kovalchuk, Kirill Petrov, Yevgeni Biryukov and Yevgeni Medvedev.

Biryukov started the scoring with the only goal of the first period and Russia effectively put the game away with three more in the second. Medvedev doubled the lead, then Alexander Radulov and Yevgeni Ryasenski added goals.

"Our start wasn't the way we wanted to, the puck bounced a little. We have practiced in the practice arena, which has a smaller rink so it took a little getting used to," Kovalchuk told the IIHF website.

Maris Jucers stopped 20 of 24 shots for Latvia before he was replaced to start the third period by Edgars Masalskis. Kovalchuk and Petrov completed the scoring early in the third.

Russia is back in action Sunday against Germany.

Sweden 2, Czech Republic 1: The Swedes avoided becoming the first host country since 2005 to lose its first two games as Jhonas Enroth won a goaltending duel with Alexander Salak in Stockholm.

"We wanted to make sure we got off to a good start," Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog told the IIHF website. "... We were hungrier today; we won the puck battles; we were better around our net."

Sweden plays Belarus and the Czechs play Switzerland on Monday.

Finland 2, Slovakia 0: Antti Raanta made 36 saves for the home team in Helsinki.

"Of course it was great to get a shutout," Raanta told the IIHF website. "But I just wanted the win, to get a good start for me and three points for the team."

Juhamatti Aaltonen scored, and Petri Kontiola added a goal and an assist.

Finland, unbeaten in two games, had 23 shots against Rastislav Stana.

"We did everything we were supposed to do, but their goalie stood on his head," Slovakia's Milan Jurcina said. "Sometimes that's how the puck bounces."

Finland plays France, and Slovakia faces Germany on Monday.

Norway 3, Slovenia 1: Anders Bastiansen scored a pair of goals in the first period to get Norway off to a solid start, and Lars Haugen finished with 21 saves in a preliminary-round game in Stockholm.

Ken Andre Olimb and Mathis Olimb assisted on both of Bastiansen's goals. The first came 62 seconds into the game.

"It is really nice to start like that," Bastiansen told the IIHF website. "It feels great to help the team in that way."

Ziga Jeglic got Slovenia on the board with 17 seconds left in the first, but it couldn't push another puck past Haugen. Norway finished things off with an empty-net goal by Mads Hansen with five seconds remaining.

Robert Kristan made 22 saves for Slovenia, which takes on Belarus on Sunday.
Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness