All five participants from the Buffalo Sabres were on the ice when the 2016 IIHF World Championship kicked off in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday morning. Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart were a part of Canada's 5-1 win over Hudson Fasching and Jake McCabe's Team USA, while Zemgus Girgensons and Latvia dropped their first game to Sweden in overtime by a score of 2-1.
Let's take a look at today's action.
CAN 5 – USA 1
The Canadians found themselves in a 1-0 hole less than five minutes into the contest thanks to a goal by Patrick Maroon for the U.S. Just a few minutes later, at the 8:48 mark of the period, Canada scored to take a 2-1 lead they'd never relinquish, and they did it on the strength of a strong play from O'Reilly.
O'Reilly won a faceoff in the U.S. zone and then later worked the puck in the corner before dishing it to Brendan Gallagher, who scored the game-winning goal for Canada.
It was the first of two assists for O'Reilly, who later stripped the puck from Sabres teammate McCabe to earn the helper on Boone Jenner's goal in the third period.
A scary moment occurred for the Sabres and the U.S. alike in the first period when McCabe was forced to the dressing room after falling into the boards. He returned in the second period, however, and went on total 11:26 of ice time.
It was the first World Championship game for Reinhart and Fasching, both first-time participants in the event. Reinhart played 6:33 of ice time and recorded one shot as the 10th forward for Canada; Fasching totaled 7:51 for the U.S.
SWE 2 – LAT 1
Girgensons and Latvia rebounded after allowing an early goal and took a Swedish team expected to contend for a medal into overtime, but came up shy of earning two points when Gustav Nyquist scored the winning goal 4:06 into the extra period.
Girgensons, the only current NHL player on the Latvian roster, played 19:53 of ice time but did not record a shot on goal until the overtime period.
Latvia and the U.S. are both back in action at 1:15 p.m. EST on Saturday with Latvia facing the Czech Republic and the U.S. playing Belarus. The latter game will air live on NBC Sports Live Extra and will be televised Sunday at 1:30 a.m. on NBC Sports Network.
O'Reilly, Reinhart and Team Canada will resume play at 9:15 a.m. EST on Sunday against Hungary.