The first 'battle of the Sens' went Sweden's way Saturday at the 2012 IIHF world hockey championship.
Tournament co-host Sweden turned back the Czech Republic 4-1 at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm in a preliminary round matchup that featured four Ottawa Senators teammates.
On the winning side for the Tre Kronor were team captain Daniel Alfredsson, defenceman Erik Karlsson and forward Jakob Silfverberg, who combined for five shots on goal but didn't record a point.
Sens winger Milan Michalek was also held off the scoresheet for the Czechs and totalled three shots on goal.
Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings scored goals to help the Swedes build a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes, with Niklas Persson and Joel Lundqvist adding insurance markers in the third. Jakub Petruzalek notched the lone tally for the Czechs.
Also Saturday, Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored in overtime as the United States upended Canada 5-4 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, handing the red maple leaf its first loss of the 2012 worlds.
Earlier in Stockholm, Russia — one of the tournament favourites — turned back Latvia 5-2 in its worlds opener.
Kaspars Daugavins of the Senators picked up the second goal for the Latvians in the third period.
Senators forward Stephane Da Costa picked up a pair of assists as France doubled up on Kazakhstan 6-3 in Stockholm to record its first win at these worlds. Da Costa also recorded three shots on goal for the French, who built a 3-0 lead in the opening 15 minutes and never looked back.
Meanwhile, Daugavins set up Aleksejs Sirokovs for the game-winner with 7:45 to play as Latvia edged Germany 3-2 in Stockholm for its first victory of the tournament.
In games Monday involving Senators players, Da Costa and France face off against Canada (9:15 a.m. ET) in Helsinki, while Michalek and the Czechs match up with Norway in Stockholm (10:15 a.m.). Later in the day, Sweden aims for its third straight win when it meets Denmark at the Globe Arena (2:15 p.m. ET). Fans can view a free live stream of all games at the worlds on the IIHF's YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/icehockey).