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#CBJ at the Worlds: May 2-3

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets


Yes, that’s a lopsided final score, and it was indicative of quite the lopsided game in Prague on Sunday afternoon.

Coming off a convincing opening victory over Latvia, the Canadians stormed out of the gate early, dominated play from start to finish and improved their World Championship record to 2-0-0. Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall led the way with a hat trick for Canada, and he was backed up by four-point efforts from Flyers captain Claude Giroux and Avalanche forward Matt Duchene.

Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard, who picked up an assist in Canada’s win over the Latvians, recorded another helper on Sunday (on a Giroux goal that made it 7-0) and logged 17:50 TOI.

Next up for the Canadians is a Monday night matchup against the host Czech Republic at O2 Arena in Prague. That’ll be one to watch, for sure, and the home crowd will be revved up looking for an upset.

After Sergei Bobrovsky got the start in Russia’s tournament opener (a 6-2 win over Norway on Friday), he got the day off Sunday and Konstantin Barulin stepped in.

Barulin made 22 saves to help stave off Slovenia, which tried desperately to make a game of it at CZE Arena in Ostrava. Russia’s 5-3 win improved its World Championship record to 2-0-0, on par with Team USA, setting up for a rather meaningful game Monday.

The only thing separating Russia from the U.S. in the tournament so far is one goal – the Russians’ +6 goal differential is one better than Team USA – but they are certain to be slightly farther apart after Monday’s games are complete.

Bobrovsky is expected to get the start in goal for Russia on Monday and face Connor Hellebuyck, who has been solid between the pipes for Todd Richards and Team USA. Artem Anisimov was held off the scoresheet on Sunday after picking up a goal in Friday’s victory.

In a dramatic, down-to-the-wire finish, Slovakia rallied and pulled off an overtime win over Belarus in Ostrava on Sunday.

Belarus forward Sergei Kostitsyn broke a scoreless draw midway through the third period, and it took just over a minute for the Slovaks to respond. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros scored 64 seconds after Kostitsyn gave Belarus the lead, and then, he scored again in overtime to give Slovakia a 2-1 win.

Blue Jackets forward Marko Dano didn’t figure in on the scoresheet, but he certainly had an active game: Dano had three shots on goal, was +3 and played nearly 17 minutes in a prominent role for Slovakia.

With two overtime wins (worth two points each), Slovakia sits two points behind Team USA and Russia entering the next week of preliminary round games.

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