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Russia wins, Czechs fall at Worlds

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Rangers forward Artem Anisimov, skating on Russia's third line at the World Championships, eludes a Kazakhstan defender during a 4-1 Russian victory at Cologne, Germany, on Tuesday afternoon.
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Rangers forward Artem Anisimov and Team Russia won a second straight game at the IIHF World Championship tournament on Tuesday, beating Kazakhstan 4-1 in Cologne, Germany.

The Russians got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Semin and Denis Grebeshkov. Russian goalie Alexander Yeremenko had a shutout going until 17:59 of the third period.

Anisimov, once again skating on the Russians' third line with Sergei Mozyakin and Maxim Sushinsky, finished with four shots on goal in 15:20 of ice time. Only Mozyakin had more shots for Russia with five, and only Anisimov, Mozyakin and Kovalchuk managed to register shots in all three periods.

The Russians, one of this year's gold-medal favorites, outshot Kazakhstan 29-19, as Yeremenko, a member of the KHL's Ufa team in 2009-10, finished with 18 stops, giving up the lone Kazakhstan goal to Dmitri Dudarev.

With one round-robin game left in Group A before crossover play begins this weekend, Russia is a perfect 2-0-0 at the tournament.

Ovechkin got the Russians on the board first, scoring on a power play at 10:20 of the first period off assists from Washington teammate Semin and former Caps teammate Sergei Fedorov. The goal came with 18 seconds left in a slashing penalty to Alexei Vassilchenko.

Anisimov saw the bulk of his ice time in the first period, skating for 6:08 to rank third among Russian forwards.

Kovalchuk gave the Russians a 2-0 lead off an assist from Semin just 42 seconds into the second period. Semin then stretched the edge to 3-0 with an even-strength goal at the 17:55 mark, and the Russians went into the second intermission with their first three-goal lead of the tournament.

Denis Grebeshkov gave Russia a 4-0 lead at 3:22 of the third period, assisted by NHLers Maxim Afinogenov of the Atlanta Thrashers and Nikolai Kulemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Russia will next face Belarus on Thursday with a chance to place first in Group A.

Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival collides with Norway's Kristian Forsberg, as a loose puck floats in front of them during the Czech Republic's game vs. Norway. Rozsival picked up his first point of the tournament by assisting on a Jaromir Jagr goal.
In another World Championship tournament game on Tuesday afternoon, Norway upset the Czech Republic team that includes Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival and former Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr, who scored both Czech goals in a 3-2 loss at Mannheim.

Prior to Tuesday, no Norwegian hockey team had beaten a Czechoslovakian or Czech Republic team since 1937.

The Czech Republic outshot Norway 46-15 but could not solve a masterful Pal Grotnes, who stopped 44 shots. Grotnes, who also played goal for Norway during the Vancouver Olympics, had 15 saves in the first period, 16 in the second, and 13 in the third.

Ondrej Pavelec, the Czechs' backup goalie who plays for the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, finished with 12 saves as Tomas Vokoun was given a break. Vokoun had helped the Czechs (1-1) rout France in their opener.

Rozsival skated on the top defensive pairing alongside Miroslav Blatak. Rozsival ranked second among Czech skaters with 21:51 total ice time. His ice time increased throughout the game, as he was on for a whopping 9:25 of the third period, nearly two full minutes more than any other Czech skater.

Rozsival had two third-period shots on goal, plus an assist in the middle period.

Norway's Mats Zuccarello Aasen, the Swedish Elite League's MVP in 2009-10, scored the game's first goal at 12:09 of the first period off an assist from former NHL player Patrick Thoresen.

Jagr tied the game on a power play for the Czechs off an assists from Rozsival and Jakub Klepis at 7:56 of the second period, but just over two minutes later, Norway's Lars Lokken Ostli scored to put Norway back ahead 2-1 at 10:13 of the second.

The Czechs were outshooting Norway by a 32-8 margin after two periods. Rozsival skated 6:20 in the second and his 12:26 of total ice time ranked second among Czech defensemen after two periods.

Jagr scored again on a power play off an assist from former Rangers defenseman Karel Rachunek to cut Norway's lead to 3-2 at 13:09 of the third period, but that was as close as the game would get. Jagr notched the goal after Norway took a bench minor for having too many men on the ice.

Next up for the Czech Republic is a game against Sweden on Thursday night.

In other games on Tuesday, Slovakia rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Belarus 4-2, and Sweden defeated France 3-2.
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