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Gionta scores in U.S. win over Finland

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Stephen Gionta
scored his first goal of the 2013 IIHF World Championship on Wednesday, helping to lead Team USA to a 4-1 preliminary round victory over Finland in Helsinki.

Craig Smith notched a hat trick for the Americans, who improved to 3-1. John Gibson made 31 saves in the win.

Gionta's goal gave the U.S. a 3-1 lead at 11:29 of the third period. He collected a pass from Nate Thompson and beat Antti Raanta from the left circle while fellow Devil Ryan Carter set a screen in front.

Both Gionta and Carter were plus-1 as Team USA erased a 1-0 first-period deficit with four unanswered goals. The Americans are back in action Saturday when they face France.

Henrik Tallinder and Sweden (3-1) routed Norway, 5-1, in Stockholm on Wednesday. Tallinder has a game-winning goal, an assist and is a plus-4 in four contests.

Ilya Kovalchuk led the tournament with five goals and seven points entering Wednesday's action. He has multi-point efforts in each of Russia's first three games, including a goal and assist against the U.S. on Tuesday.

Russia (3-0) looks to continue its winning streak in Thursday's meeting with France.

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