Finland got back on track at the 2017 IIHF World Championship with a 5-2 victory over Slovenia on Wednesday at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.
Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist for Finland and has now contributed at least a point in all four games of the tournament. He leads his country in scoring with six points (one goal and five assists).
Rantanen buried his first tally of the Worlds off a rebound in front during a power play at 5:51 of the second period. That put the Finns up 2-1, their first lead of the outing after Slovenia (0-0-1-3) found the back of the net first in the opening frame.
The Colorado Avalanche forward then assisted on the eventual game-winning goal by Sebastian Aho at 9:30 of the third period. Slovenia's Rok Ticar had tied the contest nearly four minutes before Aho's tally, which was followed up by another Finn marker 64 seconds later to give the No. 3-ranked team in the world some breathing room.
Rantanen was on Finland's top line with fellow NHLers Valtteri Filppula (Philadelphia Flyers) and Aho (Carolina Hurricanes). The Nousiainen native finished with three shots and a plus-1 rating while playing 15:28.
Finland (2-0-1-1) outshot Slovenia 49-14 in the contest but was once again in a tight matchup for the fourth-straight game.
The Finns' only other win at the World Championship came in a 3-2 defeat of Belarus in the opener on Friday. Finland had lost its last two contests, falling 5-1 to co-host France on Sunday and 4-3 in a shootout to the Czech Republic on Monday.
Team Finland will take on Nordic-rival Norway on Saturday.
UNITED STATES (3) VS. ITALY (0)
The United States powered past Italy and won its third consecutive game at this year's World Championship with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany.
After dropping its opener to the Germans, Team USA (3-0-0-1) has picked up victories by outscoring its last three opponents 14-5 and outshooting them 93-76.
Italy (0-0-1-3), which was promoted to the top tier of the IIHF this year, couldn't generate much of anything against the Americans. The U.S. only allowed nine shots on goal, while producing 32 on the other end of the ice.
Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders scored his first of two goals in the contest 5:17 into the first period before adding a short-handed marker in the second. His Islanders teammate, Anders Lee, also tallied for USA.
Avalanche forward J.T. Compher was promoted to the Americans' second line with Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings) and Nelson for the game after playing the previous three on the fourth combination. He went 1-for-2 on faceoffs and finished with a plus-1 rating in 14:36 of ice time.
The United States' next game is Saturday against Latvia. Puck drop is at for 4:15 a.m. MT. It will be televised live on NHL Network and streamed at NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.
BARRIE INJURED, OUT FOR THE TOURNAMENT
Avalanche and Canada defenseman Tyson Barrie will miss the remainder of the World Championship after suffering a lower-body injury, Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to be fully recovered for offseason workouts.
Barrie was tied for the Canadian team lead and second overall in tournament scoring with seven points (two goals, five assists) in three games. The Victoria, British Columbia, native helped Canada win the World Championship in 2015.
Team Canada's next game is Thursday against co-host France in Paris. The two-time defending champions lead Group B with a 3-0-0-0 record so far in preliminary play.