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Rinne leads Finland past Germany at Worlds @NHLdotcom

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made 20 saves to lead Finland to a 4-0 victory against Germany in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Championship at Minsk Arena in Belarus on Tuesday.

The victory was the first for Finland (1-2, three points) in the Group B field. In the previous two games between these countries at the World Championship in 2011 and 2013, each game was won by Finland in overtime.

The extra period wasn't needed Tuesday, when Petri Kontiola had a goal and an assist and won 61 percent of his faceoffs.

"Maybe it's a bit of a turning point, it's certainly good to get a smile back on our faces," Kontiola told the IIHF website. "We were a little frustrated after two losses."

Rinne, who entered the game 0-1 with a 3.08 goals-against average and .884 save percentage in two games played, was called upon to make 10 saves in the second, when the Finns received goals by Olli Palola and Leo Komarov in a span of 40 seconds to open a 4-0 lead.

"We played as a team," Finnish forward Jori Lehtera said. "All five guys on the ice were working together, playing smart. Pekka played really good in the net."

Jarkko Immonen also scored for Finland, which will next face Belarus on Thursday. Germany (2-1, five points), which lost for the first time, will look to rebound Wednesday against Switzerland.

German forward Leon Draisaitl, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft in June, was held without a shot in 14:21 of ice time. Draisaitl, who plays for the Prince Albert Raiders, was named a First Team All-Star in the Eastern Conference of the Western Hockey League this season after placing fourth in the league with 105 points (38 goals, 67 assists) in 64 regular-season games.

"After two losses we were ready to step up in this game," Lehtera said. "We started strong and we played well for the whole 60 minutes. I think this game is a turning point. Sometimes you need to take a couple steps back to go forward again."

Denmark 4, Italy 1: Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks scored a shorthanded goal 15:50 into the second period to snap a 1-1 tie in preliminary-round play at Chizhovka Arena. Emil Kristensen scored his first goal of the tournament 29 seconds later to provide a cushion for Denmark, which received 12 saves from Simon Nielsen. The Danes outshot the Italians 31-13.

Jesper Jensen gave Denmark a 1-0 lead at 2:51 of the first before Diego Kostner pulled his country even at 12:15. Kim Staal scored an empty-net goal for Denmark at 17:34 of the third.

Italy (1-2, three points) returns to action in Group A on Wednesday against the Czech Republic (1-2, three points) and Denmark (1-2, three points) will face Canada (2-1, seven points) on Thursday.

Sweden 2, Norway 1: Linus Klasen scored his first goal of the tournament off a rebound to snap a 1-1 tie 7:18 into the third period in preliminary-round action of Group A at Chizhovka Arena. Klasen was assisted on the game-winner by Gustav Nyquist (Detroit Red Wings) and Tim Erixon (Columbus Blue Jackets).

Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson (New York Islanders), who made a few big saves in the final minute when Norway pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, finished with 13 saves. Norway's Steffan Soberg (Washington Capitals), who was making his tournament debut, turned away 33 shots.

Sweden (3-0, eight points) pulled into a 1-1 tie at 16:33 of the second when Joakim Lindstrom scored a power-play goal. Sondre Olden had given Norway (2-1, six points) a 1-0 lead 2:47 into the second.

Sweden will next play against France on Thursday. Norway faces Slovakia on Wednesday.

Latvia 5, Kazakhstan 4: Juris Stals scored the game-winner off a shot from the left circle with 6:38 remaining in the third in preliminary-round play in the Group B field at Minsk Arena. Arturs Kulda had two goals, and Mikelis Redlihs and Miks Indrasis each had a goal and one assist for Latvia (2-1, six points), which remains in position to earn a quarterfinal-round berth.

Indrasis had given Latvia a 1-0 lead 1:15 into the first before Kazakhstan (0-3, one point) received goals by Talgat Zhailauov at 4:43 and Evgeni Rymarev at 19:45 to take a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

The floodgates then opened in the second, when the countries combined for five goals.

Kulda scored two in the opening 10 minutes before Redlihs gave the Latvians a 4-2 advantage on a goal with 5:53 left. Kazakhstan was unfazed, however, and took advantage of late back-to-back penalties on Latvia. Nik Antropov pulled his team to within 4-3 with 49 seconds left on a 5-on-3 power play and Evgeni Blokhin scored with five seconds on the clock during a 4-on-3 advantage.

Latvia resumes tournament play on Thursday against the United States. Kazakhstan will face Russia on Wednesday.

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