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Rangers forward Artem Anisimov
scored his first IIHF World Championship goal as Russia coasted to a 3-1 win over Belarus to remain unbeaten in the 2010 tournament on Thursday at Cologne, Germany.
Anisimov, competing in his first World Championships, scored to give the Russians a 3-0 lead at 14:03 of the second period. Linemate Sergei Mozyakin and defenseman Vitali Atyushov assisted on the even-strength goal.
The Russians won the four-team Group A pool and moved on to face tournament host Germany in their first qualification-round game on Saturday at Cologne.
Skating once again on the third line with Mozyakin and former NHL player Maxim Sushinsky, Anisimov logged 12:06 of ice time -- three minutes more than either of his linemates due to his power-play time. He scored on his lone shot of the game and was plus-1 for the afternoon as a result.
The Russians never trailed in the game after Mozyakin notched his team's first goal on a power play at 10:45 of the first period. Anisimov was on the ice for the goal, which was assisted by Sushinsky and defenseman Igor Nikulin.
The Russians stretched their lead to 2-0 at 12:21 of the second period when Alex Ovechkin scored off an assist from Sergei Fedorov.
Just under two minutes later, Anisimov beat Belarussian goalie Andrei Mezin for the 3-0 lead.
Russia outshot Belarus 38-20 in the game, as Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves for the win. Belarus' Alexei Kalyuzhny broke Varlamov's shutout bid at 7:30 of the third period.
|Michal Rozsival |
In another game, played Thursday night at Mannheim, Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival and his Czech Republic team beat Sweden 2-1 to place first in their group. France's loss to Norway earlier in the day had clinched a qualification round berth for the Czechs even before the game game against Sweden began.
Rozsival had a strong night for the Czechs, leading all players in the game with 23:27 of ice time. He played a whopping nine minutes in the first period, skated 7:18 in the second and 7:09 in the third -- ending up with nearly a full minute more of action than his defense partner, Petr Caslava.
Outshooting Sweden 37-32, the Czechs dominated parts of the game, but had a tough time getting the puck past Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Jonas Gustavsson, who made 35 stops in his first loss of the tournament. Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers made 31 saves for the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic got the game's first goal on a shorthanded breakaway by Tomas Rolinek, who stole the puck at his own blue line 34 seconds into a Jaromir Jagr penalty and went end-to-end for a goal. Jagr, the former Rangers captain and Blueshirts' all-time single-season scoring leader, had gone off for hooking just 20 seconds into the game.
Rolinek, who plays for Magnitogorsk of the KHL, had the first shot on goal by either team. He beat Gustavsson to the far side, slipping his shot under the Swedish netminder and just inside the right post.
The 1-0 Czech lead stood through 20 minutes, as the Czechs outshot the Swedes by a wide 18-6 margin in the first period. Rozsival had his lone shot on goal of the game during that stretch.
Sweden turned things around and had the bulk of the shots in the second period, but through two periods the Czechs were still outshooting Sweden 27-24.
Sweden tied the game at 4:03 of the second period on a goal by 19-year-old Magnus Paajarvi Svensson, the Edmonton Oilers' first-round draft pick last June. Paajarvi Svensson's shot from the left faceoff circle trickled through Vokoun's pads.
After killing off back-to-back Swedish power plays, the Czechs regained the lead at 9:18 of the second, taking a 2-1 lead on a goal from Petr Hubacek, a former Flyers prospect who has spent the past eight seasons in the Czech Extraliga. Former NHL player Jiri Novotny, now playing in the KHL, and goaltender Vokoun picked up assists on the winning goal.
The Czech Republic will open qualification-round play against Switzerland on Saturday. The Czechs' victory pushed Canada into a qualification-round game against Norway on Friday
In another game on Thursday afternoon at Mannheim, Germany, Norway's Olympic sensation Mats Zuccarello
Aasen had a goal and an assist on a pair of third-period power plays to break open a 1-1 tie and give the Norwegians a 5-1 win over France, which dropped into the relegation round, where it joins Team USA and Italy.
Thursday's only other game saw Slovakia rout Kazakhstan 5-1 at Cologne. Team USA open relegation-round play vs. Kazakhstan on Saturday.