The United States went into Sunday's action fighting for their quarterfinal lives in the World Hockey Championships and they came out of it with a shot now -- albeit slim -- at the top spot in the Helsinki Pool.
Jimmy Howard made 18 saves to lead the Americans to a convincing 5-0 win over the host Team Finland. Five different Americans scored.
"That's as good of a game as we've played in the four years I've been coming over here," said three-time USA head coach Scott Gordon.
Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry picked up an assist on Chris Butler's goal, a wrist shot from the top of the left circle early in the third period to make it a 4-0 game.
"It was a great effort by our whole team. We knew they were going to have the fans to support them and it was going to be a hostile environment, but it was a must-win for us and we came out and played a full game and really established our forecheck."
Petry had 15:13 of icetime paired mainly with Butler, who skates for the Calgary Flames ironically. He also had a shot on goal and a +2 rating.
"We needed to show it after the last two games," Petry said as the Americans were coming off a disappointing OT win over Kazakhstan and a weaker showing against Belarus following a loss to Slovakia. "To come out and do it against the Finns was big for us."
For the tournament, Petry now has a goal and three points with a +3 rating in three games. He also has seven shots on goal.
The other U.S. goal scorers on the afternoon were Max Pacioretty, Kyle Palmieri, Justin Faulk and Bobby Ryan.
USA wraps up their round robin action with a game against Switzerland on Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. MDT.
RUSSIA 2 vs. CZECH REPUBLIC 0
It only took the Russians 24 seconds to open the scoring against the Czech Republic as they managed to hold on for a 2-0 victory over their Eastern European rivals and further secure their spot atop the Stockholm Pool standings.
"You always get motivated for a game against Russia," Oilers and Czech winger Ales Hemsky told IIHF.com. "They are always skilled, great players you go up against, and it's always a great game to play."
Alexander Perezhogin's goal in the game's opening seconds was a back breaker, noted Hemsky.
"Too bad they scored on that first shift of the game," he said.
Hemsky had 16:13 of icetime and two shots on goal -- both in the third period -- but couldn't beat Russian netminder Konstantin Barulin, who stopped all 30 shots he faced.
Evgeni Malkin's power play marker 44 seconds into the third period was the backbreaker for the Czechs, who will finish third in their pool and likely open the Quarterfinals with a rematch against Sweden.
The Czechs conclude their round robin schedule on Tuesday against Germany. Puck drop is at 7:15am MT.
ROUND ROBIN SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times mountain) Friday, May 4: