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Frolik, Czech Republic edged by Russia

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Team Russia scored three consecutive goals and held on to defeat Team Czech Republic 4-3 in a pre-tournament game for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Yubileyny Sports Palace on Thursday.

Artemi Panarin, Nikita Kucherov and Evgeny Dadonov each had a goal and an assist for Team Russia. Vladimir Tarasenko scored, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

Michal Kempny, Martin Hanzal and Tomas Plekanec scored for Team Czech Republic.

Each team was playing its first pre-tournament game to prepare for the World Cup, which begins on Sept. 17 in Toronto.

The line of Panarin, Vadim Shipachyov (two assists) and Dadonov, which thrived together in the Kontinental Hockey League before Panarin joined the Chicago Blackhawks last season, combined for six points.

"Overall, we liked the game," Team Russia coach Oleg Znarok told NHL.com. "It was a very speedy one … The first period we liked most of all in terms of our playing according to the system that we want."

Team Czech Republic took a 1-0 lead on Kempny's left point shot that beat Bobrovsky to the short side 3:54 into the first period. Panarin tied the game 1-1 with 1:31 remaining with a wrist shot from the right circle into the top left corner.

Tarasenko gave Team Russia a 2-1 lead with a power play goal 5:22 into the second period on a wrist shot from right circle. Kucherov made it 3-1 at 8:38 by scoring on a rebound of Alexey Marchenko's left-point shot that caromed off the left post.

Team Czech Republic made it 3-2 with a power play goal 6:48 into the third period when Hanzal's attempted centering pass went in off Marchenko's left leg. Dadonov put Team Russia ahead 4-2 two minutes later by finishing Panarin's cross-ice feed with a right circle one-timer.

Plekanec's deflection with 2:47 remaining made it 4-3.

Calgary Flames' winger Michael Frolik had 16:24 of ice time, putting four shots on net and throwing two hits.

The Czechs and Russians will face off again on Saturday at the O2 Arena in Prague. Game time is get for 8:30 AM MT with Sportsnet360 carrying the Canadian broadcast.

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