Two days after being upset in overtime by Switzerland, Team Canada responded in a big way. Unfortunately, Norway was the unlucky country that had to face the wrath of the World's No. 1-ranked team.
The Canadians seemed to take out their frustration from their first loss of the 2017 IIHF World Championship on the Nordic squad, as they won 5-0 on Monday in a contest that could have been much more lopsided.
The victory at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, secured Canada (5-0-1-0) the top spot in Group B, while the loss eliminated Norway (2-0-2-2) from advancing to the playoffs. Canada will face either Latvia or Germany in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Team Canada had a 21-8 edge in shots in the opening period, but it didn't find the back of the net until it tallied twice on the power play in the final 2:12 of the frame. Brayden Schenn of the Philadelphia Flyers began the scoring before the St. Louis Blues' Colton Parayko registered his first of two goals on the night with 78 seconds left before the intermission.
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon had his first of three assists in the game on Parayko's first marker and finished with the most points on Canada in the outing. He also had one shot and played 13:55 while on an even-strength line with the Carolina Hurricanes' Jeff Skinner and the Winnipeg Jets' Mark Scheifele.
"I thought we dominated," MacKinnon told the official IIHF website. "I thought we deserved it. We really outplayed the Swiss pretty bad, even in a loss. There were a couple of tough breaks. But today we deserved the win and we played really well."
MacKinnon is tied for second in tournament scoring with 11 points and his five goals in six games so far are one behind leaders Stephane da Costa (France), Johnny Gaudreau (USA) and Antoine Roussel (France).
In the second period, Scheifele and Parayko tallied to stretch the lead to 4-0 before Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres) capped the game with a power-play marker with 2:40 remaining in the third. O'Reilly had missed on a penalty shot 1:52 into the first frame.
Team Canada almost got on the board again at 4:39 of the opening stanza, but the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds' goal was disallowed after it was determined that the net had gone off its moorings before the puck crossed the goal line.
Canada outshot Norway 48-10 in the contest and didn't allow a shot on goal in the third period.
"We played our best game of the tournament today," Avs forward Matt Duchene said to the Canadian Press. "We dominated start to finish. We're still not scoring as much 5-on-5 as we'd like. Hopefully it comes when we need it."
Duchene played 15:45, the second most ice time among Canadian forwards in the game, while also producing two shots and winning both faceoffs he took. He was on a line combination with Sean Couturier (Philadelphia) and Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning).
Goaltender Calvin Pickard did not play as Chad Johnson (Calgary Flames) got the start in the crease.
Canada plays its final preliminary-round game on Tuesday against Finland.
RUSSIA (5) VS. LATVIA (0)
Team Russia scored twice in both the first and second periods and went on to defeat Latvia 5-0 at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany, on Monday.
Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lighting had a goal and two assists, while Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks had three helpers to retake the tournament scoring lead (13 points).
Russian defenseman and Avalanche prospect Andrei Mironov did not play in the contest.
The win for Russia (5-1-0-0) put it back on top in the Group A standings with 17 points. The team closes round-robin action on Tuesday with a matchup with the United States, which is second in the group with 15 points. The winner of that game will take a No. 1 seed into the playoffs and will play either Finland, Switzerland or the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Latvia (3-0-0-2) faces Germany on Tuesday, with the winner earning the final spot into the quarters from the group.