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Crosby Starts Strong at World Championship

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Team Canada head coach Todd McLellan put Jason Spezza, Sidney Crosby and Nathan Mackinnon on a line together for their tournament opener against Latvia on Friday, and had that trio start the game.

Just seconds into their first shift, Crosby jumped on a misplayed puck behind the net and fired a pass in front of the net to his fellow Cole Harbour native and first-overall draft pick Mackinnon that he nearly one-timed in. It was a glorious scoring chance and a sign of things to come in the contest, as that line combined for four goals and eight points in Canada's 6-1 win.

Crosby scored and added an assist for a two-point effort, with his goal coming off a penalty shot with just 23 seconds remaining in the game. He got behind the D for a breakaway and was blatantly hooked and held, which earned him the call. Crosby then beat the Latvian netminder with an absolutely wicked release into the top corner of the net.

His line was tremendous on the cycle throughout the game, with Crosby doing a particularly excellent job of being strong with the puck and protecting it along the boards. On the power play, Crosby was stationed on the right half wall and had Brent Burns funneling him a lot of pucks his way. He was shooting everything and did a nice job of moving with and without the puck as well.

Next up for Crosby and Team Canada is Germany on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on TSN.

NOTE: Evgeni Malkin, who isn't at 100 percent due to an ankle injury he dealt with at the end of the regular season and in the playoffs, was not listed on Team Russia's official lineup sheet for their game vs. Norway and did not play.

PHOTOS OF SIDNEY CROSBY FROM CANADA'S 6-1 WIN OVER LATVIA (all courtesy of Getty Images):















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