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The Daily Planet

by Mike Vogel / Washington Capitals
Tuesday was a big day at the IIHF World Championships in Quebec City and Halifax. The two heavyweights of Group B – Team Canada and Team USA hooked up in a preliminary round game. And the heavily Capitals-influenced Team Russia closed out its preliminary round slate with a game against Denmark.

Here’s a quick rundown of the last two days’ activity at the Worlds.

Big Test – The young Team USA squad took on defending champion Canada in the last preliminary round game for both teams on Tuesday afternoon. Canada jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Team USA roared back to tie the game at 4-4 in the third period. But Dany Heatley’s goal with just 47 seconds remaining in regulation crushed Team USA’s comeback bid and made a winner of Team Canada, 5-4.

Dustin Brown and Jason Pominville scored 96 seconds apart in the third to bring the Americans even. Even after Heatley’s tie-breaking tally, Team USA had a last chance to tie it up when Canada’s Derek Roy was sent off for a delay of game infraction with 24 seconds left on the clock.

The Caps’ Mike Green did not figure into the scoring for Team Canada.

Three for the Russians –
Team Russia disposed of Denmark 4-1 on Tuesday afternoon for its third consecutive preliminary round triumph. Sergei Fedorov had a goal and an assist and Alex Ovechkin scored his second goal of the tournament to fuel the Russian attack.

Fedorov and Ovechkin both scored on the power play, with Fedorov assisting on Ovechkin’s tally. Ovechkin’s goal proved to be the game-winner.

Mikhail Biryukov made 19 saves for Team Russia. San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is expected to be added to the Russian roster for qualifying round play.

How Swede It Is – Nicklas Backstrom and Team Sweden put a 9-0 hurting on Team France on Monday. The Swedes scored four goals in the second period and five more in the third after a scoreless first frame.

Backstrom scored two goals and was a plus-2 in 16:10 worth of action. Fabrice Lhenry started in goal for Team France, but he was relieved late in the game by Washington’s Cristobal Huet.

Lhenry was nicked for seven goals on 46 shots in 49:22 of work. Huet gave up two tallies on five shots in a span of 10:38. Backstrom scored one goal against each French netminder in the game.

Ex-Cap Attack –
Germany downed Slovakia 4-2 on Monday in a game that featured goals by a pair of former Capitals. Germany’s Stefan Ustorf scored a goal as did Slovakia’s Ivan Ciernik.

Ustorf totaled seven goals and 17 points in 54 games with Washington from 1995-97. Ciernik registered nine goals and 21 points in 60 games in a Caps sweater from 2001-04.


Here’s a quick check on the progress of the Capitals playing in the tournament:

Alex Ovechkin (Russia) – He has two goals and is plus-2 in three games while averaging 17:06 in ice time.

Alexander Semin (Russia) – Was named best Russian player for the game in his team’s 7-1 win over Italy. Semin had two goals and an assist and was a plus-4 in that game. Overall, Semin has two goals, four points and is plus-4 while skating an average of 18:05.

Sergei Fedorov (Russia) – Has a goal and two assists and is plus-3 while averaging 17:16.

Simeon Varlamov (Russia) –
Injured in practice and sidelined for the tournament.

Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden) –
Has three goals and an assist and is plus-3 in Sweden’s two games. He has averaged 18:08.

Mike Green (Canada) –
Has a goal and is plus-3 while averaging 13:55 in three games.

Cristobal Huet (France) –
Was named best Team France player in his team’s 4-1 loss to Switzerland. Stopped 44 of the 48 shots he faced in that game. Gave up two goals on five shots in a 9-0 loss to Sweden on Monday.

Tomas Fleischmann (Czech Republic) –
Has two assists and is plus-3 while averaging 13:09 in two games.

Jakub Klepis (Czech Republic) – Is without a point and is even while averaging 10:53 in two games.
Sami Lepisto (Finland) – Not on the preliminary round roster for Team Finland.

Peter Guggisburg (Switzerland) – Not on the preliminary round roster for Team Switzerland.

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