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Stamkos Stays Hot at IIHF World Championships

by Brian Breseman / Tampa Bay Lightning
Steve Stamkos of Canada in action during the IIHF World Championship group B match between Switzerland and Italy at SAP Arena on May 10, 2010 in Mannheim, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Lightning continued to strike at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Germany today as Tampa Bay forwards Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie aided Team Canada to a 6-1 victory over Team Latvia.  Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin and Team USA dropped their second consecutive game, falling to 0-0-2, after a 2-1 overtime decision against Denmark. 

Canada improved to 2-0-0 in the pool play in a penalty-filled game from Mannheim this afternoon.  The Canadians excelled on the power play with four goals on the man advantage, including one very familiar to Lightning fans.  Late in the first period Stamkos one-timed a blast past Latvian goaltender Edgars Masalskis from the face-off circle much like he did so often during the NHL season.

Downie scored his first goal of the tournament in the second period to give Team Canada a 5-0 lead.  Brent Burns drove to the front of the net around a Latvian defender but was denied by Martins Raitums, who replaced Masalskis earlier in the second.  Downie wasted no time in jumping on the loose rebound and burying it in the back of the net for the first World Championship goal of his career.

Stamkos fired a game-high seven shots on goal and was among Team Canada leaders with 15:26 of ice time.  Downie registered six penalty minutes with a plus-1 rating in 14:27 of ice time.

Team USA and Denmark exchanged power play goals in the second period, but in the end Stefan Lassen scored 2:04 into overtime to send a stunned American squad to the bottom of Group D and in jeopardy of relegation. 

Lundin registered an even rating in 14:28 of ice time. 

In other action today, Switzerland defeated Italy, 3-0, and Finland squeezed out a narrow 1-0 win against host nation Germany.

Tomorrow Victor Hedman gets back into the action as Sweden takes on France.  Lightning prospects Vladimir Mihalik and Richard Panik, both representing Slovakia, will take on Belarus.  Russian goaltender and Tampa Bay prospect Vasily Koshechkin, coming off an impressive 32-save performance in the tournament opener, will take on Kazakhstan.

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