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U.S. rallies before falling to Finland at worlds

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Frank Vatrano and Connor Murphy each scored a goal in Team USA’s 3-2 loss to Finland in preliminary round play at the IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg on Monday.

Mike Condon (Montreal Canadiens) made 19 saves for the United States, which lost for the second time in three contests. Mikko Koskinen stopped 16 shots for Finland.

Leo Komarov (Toronto Maple Leafs) delivered the decisive blow for the Finns with a power-play goal that broke a 2-2 tie at 4:16 of the third period. Finland remained unbeaten in the tournament, joining Canada atop the Group B standings with three wins.

"We like how our team is coming together," coach John Hynes told USA Hockey's official website. "It was a fun game to coach. I thought both teams played hard and played well. We're disappointed in the result, but this tournament is a process. We've been together a little more than a week and our guys are playing hard and playing for each other and getting better each time out."

Devils defenseman David Warsofsky registered three shots in 16:13 of ice time and was paired once again with Devils prospect Steven Santini (13:52 TOI). Forward prospect Miles Wood, who scored in Saturday’s win over Belarus, logged 7:39.

The U.S. rallied to tie after falling behind 2-0 in the first period. Vatrano (Boston Bruins) cut the deficit in half on a setup from Auston Matthews with six minutes to go in the opening frame. The projected first-overall pick at next month’s Draft, Matthews has four points in his last two games after collecting two goals and an assist against the Belarusians.

Murphy (Arizona Coyotes) knotted things up 53 seconds into the third with an assist from Patrick Maroon (Edmonton Oilers). Later, Maroon would be in the box for tripping when Komarov ended the stalemate.

Finland ended a four-game losing streak against the Americans, topping Team USA at the worlds for the first time since May 17, 2012.

The U.S. continues the Group B preliminary slate Thursday against France.

• Adam Larsson led Swedish defensemen with 21:57 of ice time in the Tre Kronor’s 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic on Monday. The Swedes squandered a 2-0 lead, allowing four unanswered tallies en route to their first loss of the tournament.

Sweden stumbled one day after beating Denmark, 5-2, when Larsson logged a team-high 21:34 of ice time. They continue the Group A slate against Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Sergey Kalinin saw 13:55 TOI in Russia’s 4-0 rout of Latvia on Monday. The host Russians have won two of their first three in the tournament and face Denmark on Thursday.

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