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WORLDS: Lankinen & Kubalik have big opening day

A full recap of Blackhawks storylines from day one of the 2019 IIHF World Championship

by Chris Wescott / Blackhawks.com

Artem Anisimov scored for Russia in their dominating win over Norway, while Henri Jokiharju, Kevin Lankinen and Team Finland topped Canada on the opening day of the World Championship tournament.

FINLAND 3, CANADA 1

One of the top prospects in the upcoming NHL Draft, Kaapo Kakko, propelled Finland to a 3-1 victory over Canada on the opening day of the tournament. Finland was also led between the pipes by a Chicago prospect.

Kakko tallied two goals, including the empty-netter with just 34 seconds remaining in regulation. His first goal was a fantastic solo effort on a drive to the net where he maneuvered past a defender and went forehand-backhand to put the Finns up 1-0.

Blackhawks goalie prospect Kevin Lankinen made 20 saves on the 21 shots he faced to lead the Finns to victory. Defensive prospect Henri Jokiharju recorded two penalty minutes and two shots on goal.

For Canada, Dylan Strome finished with one shot on goal.

RUSSIA 5, NORWAY 2

Russia jumped out to an early lead with two goals in the opening period, one of which came from a Blackhawks forward. Anisimov scored, assisted by Mikhail Grigorenko and Dmitry Orlov at 14:33 of the first frame to put Russia up 2-0.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: #ArtyParty at #IIHFWorlds! https://t.co/62mtrC32FW

Norway did score twice at the end of the game but fell short 5-2. Blackhawks pending UFA Andreas Martinsen recorded an assist on the final goal of the contest with just 3:13 left in regulation.

Anisimov finished the game with one goal on three shots. Martinsen had the lone assist and two shots on goal.

SLOVAKIA 4, USA 1

A pair of Blackhawks players connected on Team USA's first and only goal of the game. Patrick Kane set up Alex DeBrincat at 12:05 of the first period to tie the game at 1-1.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Kaner feeds the Cat on the power play!#Purr #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/np89MdWYt9

Unfortunately for the Americans, that's all the offense they could muster as the hometown Slovakian squad secured a 4-1 win.

DeBrincat finished the game with three shots on goal. Kane had one to go along with his assist.

CZECH REPUBLIC 5, SWEDEN 2

Blackhawks prospect Dominik Kubalik had a goal and an assist in the Czech Republic's 5-2 victory over Sweden.

Tweet from @TheChrisWescott: #Blackhawks expect prospect Dominik Kubalik to be on their 2019-20 roster. Here is his goal today vs Sweden. Shoots the puck wide then finds open ice & buries a quick one-timer. pic.twitter.com/QdmjYFLzen

Kubalik found himself some open ice down low on the back side and sniped a one-timer past the Swedish goaltender at 16:36 of the second period. He finished the game with three shots on goal in addition to his two points.

As for the Blackhawks on Sweden's roster, Erik Gustafsson recorded one assist and three shots. Marcus Kruger had just one shot.

*Statistics subject to change based on IIHF reporting

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