The Tampa Bay Lightning are heavily represented at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, beginning today in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany.
Seven Lightning players along with Bolts head coach Jon Cooper are participating in the 17-day tournament. Cooper is the head coach of Team Canada, which features Lightning rookie center Brayden Point and forward Alex Killorn.
Team Russia features the most Bolts skaters on its roster with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov. Team Sweden is led on the back end by Tampa Bay defensemen Victor Hedman, a finalist for the Norris Trophy, and Anton Stralman
The tournament consists of 16 teams broken into two groups.
Group A: Germany, Russia, Sweden, United States, Slovakia, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.
Group B: Canada, Finland, Belarus, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, France and Slovenia.
The top four ranked teams from each group following the preliminary round advance to the single-elimination quarterfinal.
The preliminary play begins today.
Russia 2, Sweden 1 (S/O)
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22-of-23 shots and was perfect in a shootout to lead Team Russia to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Team Sweden in the opening game of the World Championship in Cologne.
Sweden, led by Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman and Victor Hedman, struck first when Hedman sent a long pass from his own zone ahead to Victor Rask, who set up Elias Lindholm for a 1-0 lead at 14:40 of the opening period.
Sergei Andronov leveled the score 1-1 at 3:58 of the third period, and Artemi Panarin was the lone shootout taker to convert, giving Russia the victory and three points.
Stralman led Sweden for time on ice (25:29). Hedman was second for time on ice (25:04) and finished with one assist.
Nikita Kucherov skated 12:38 for Russia and recorded three shots on goal. Bolts teammate Vladislav Namestnikov played 15:18 and didn't register a shot.
Canada 4, Czech Republic 1
Jon Cooper-led Team Canada opened up the World Championship with a resounding 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic in France.
Tyson Barrie, Mike Matheson, Jeff Skinner and Ryan O'Reilly all scored for Canada, one of the pre-tournament favorites.
Canada led 2-0 going into the third period. The Czech Republic cut the deficit in half on Lukas Radil's tally, but Canada went back in front by two on Barrie's goal and Skinner added an empty-netter in the closing moments.
Brayden Point skated 15:12 for Canada and was plus-one with two shots. Alex Killorn grabbed 12:11 of ice time but didn't record a shot.
Canada returns to action Sunday when it plays Slovenia.
Germany 2, United States 1
Patrick Hager broke a 1-1 deadlock with six minutes to play and Thomas Greiss made 42 saves to lead host Germany to an opening-round 2-1 upset of the United States.
Finland 3, Belarus 2
Veli-Matti Savinainen supplied the winning goal in the third period of Finland's opening round 3-2 victory over Belarus in Paris.