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Five things learned from Day 3 of World Juniors

by Tim Wharnsby

Sweden goalie Linus Soderstrom channeled his inner Henrik Lundqvist against the United States on Monday at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Soderstrom, a New York Islanders prospect, idolizes Lundqvist and certainly came up with a King Henrik-like performance with 46 saves in a 1-0 victory.

Soderstrom was particularly sharp on the penalty kill. The U.S. peppered the Swedish goalie with 20 shots in 14:48 of power-play time, but he kept the Americans at bay as they went 0-for-8 in man-advantage situations.

"We did everything but score," U.S. coach Ron Wilson said. "We created opportunities and had 46 shots on goal, but you have to give their goalie credit."

Although Soderstrom, 19, was born in Stockholm like former NHL goalie Tommy Soderstrom, who played 156 games in parts of five seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers and Islanders in the 1990s, the two are not related.

The victory pushed Sweden (2-0) into the top spot in the Group A standings, while the U.S. dropped to 1-1 after an opening win against Canada (1-1) on Saturday.

It was the first time Sweden defeated the U.S. at the WJC since 1996, ending a 12-game losing streak. The U.S. next plays Switzerland on Wednesday, while Sweden faces Denmark on Wednesday. Canada plays Switzerland on Tuesday.

Here are five things we learned on the second day of action in the World Junior Championship:

Nylander sits: Sweden forward William Nylander did not play against the United States. Team officials are optimistic the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect will return later in the tournament, but there is no timetable for his return.

Sweden team doctor Per Adolf Bergsten did not want to say if Nylander sustained a concussion, but he told TSN that the forward has been symptom-free for two days and would need to be symptom free for another two days before he can play.

Nylander, 19, was injured when he was checked in the head late in the first period of Sweden's 8-3 win Saturday against Switzerland and did not return. Switzerland forward Chris Egli received a game misconduct for the hit, and on Sunday was punished with a three-game suspension from the World Junior Championship Disciplinary Panel.

Nylander leads the American Hockey League with 14 goals and 34 points in 27 games with the Toronto Marlies.

Little brother shines: In his older brother's absence, Alexander Nylander came through with a breakaway goal in the second period for the lone goal in Sweden's win.

He lifted a backhand into the top of the net, a move he said his father works with him on in practice.

An A-rated prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft, the 17-year-old plays for the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. His father, former NHL player Michael Nylander, is an assistant coach with the Steelheads.

Alexander Nylander was born in Calgary when his father played for the Flames.

Sudden impact: David Pastrnak, on loan from the Boston Bruins, didn't take long to contribute to the Czech Republic's cause. In his tournament debut, he scored the game-winning power-play goal in the second period of a 2-0 victory against Slovakia.

The right wing played on the Czech Republic's top line with Michael Spacek (Winnipeg Jets) and Jiri Smejkal. Pastrnak replaced Pavel Zacha (New Jersey Devils), who sustained a lower-body injury in the tournament opener, and did not play against Slovakia.

"It's bigger ice at the World Juniors," Pastrnak told the IIHF website "It's totally different hockey than I've been used to. I think as the tournament goes on, I'm going to feel better and better every day."

Pastrnak, 19, sustained a fractured foot while with the Bruins in late October. He recently played two games in a conditioning stint with the Providence Bruins of the AHL before he was loaned by Boston following the end of the NHL roster freeze at midnight Sunday.

This is Pastrnak's third World Junior Championship. He has two goals and 11 points in 11 games.

Breaking up: In Canada's 6-1 win against Denmark, coach Dave Lowry decided to break up his top offensive duo of Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes) and Mitchell Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs) despite the lines that were employed in practice on Monday.

The two did see time together on the power play, but instead of Strome and Marner with Brendan Perlini (Arizona Coyotes), as was the case in practice, Strome was between Perlini and Jake Virtanen (Vancouver Canucks). Marner was with Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lighting) and John Quenneville (New Jersey Devils).

Canada fired 58 shots on goal and received points from 13 different players.

"That is going to be our strength," Lowry told TSN. "We know that we need to have scoring throughout our lineup. Tonight was an indication of how we can have success as a team."

Denmark took a 1-0 lead after a video review on a possible goal did not go Canada's way.

"That might have been the best thing for our hockey club," Lowry said. "It put us on our heels after thinking that we had scored. We were able to stay with it and get that next one."

Wild one: Russia defeated Finland 6-4 after appearing down and out when Finland grabbed a 3-1 lead early in the second period. Starting with a shorthanded goal from undrafted forward Andrei Svetlakov, the Russians scored four times in 7:17 to grab a 5-3 lead before the second concluded.

The win vindicated coach Valeri Bragin, who stuck with goalie Alexander Georgiev despite his shaky start to the game and resisted the temptation of replacing the 19-year-old with Washington Capitals prospect Ilya Samsonov.

Georgiev, the backup goalie for TPS Turko in the Finnish SM-Liiga, has made 52 saves on 57 shots in Russia's two wins.

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