Russia got two late goals to beat the United States 5-3 in a hard-fought game, while Canada scored four unanswered goals en route to a 7-1 rout of Norway on Tuesday at the ice hockey world championships.
The Americans gave the defending champions their toughest test yet at this year’s tournament, leading 3-2 after two goals from captain Paul Stastny and a slapshot from the blue line by Matt Hunwick.
Russian defenseman Yevgeni Medvedev took a loose puck from in front of a crowded goal to put Russia ahead for good with 6:25 left, and Kirill Petrov then combined with Ilya Kovalchuk to set up Alexander Radulov for another score two minutes later.
Kovalchuk put in Russia’s second goal — his fifth of the tournament — and Anton Belov and Alexej Tereshenko also scored.
Ben Bishop finished with 25 saves for the U.S., while Ilya Bryzgalov had 19 for Russia.
“It was a good game,” Stastny said. “A good learning experience, a measure for us to see where we are. We have played better and better. This was one of the top teams in the tournament, and we played well against them. We were in it for 55 minutes, but when you play a team like that you have to be ready every shift. When you turn it over they’re so skilled that they can put the puck away.”
The U.S. (2-1) plays co-host Finland (3-0) on Wednesday.
“Finland is always good and plays with grit,” Stastny said. “They have the whole crowd in front of them, which makes it fun for us. It’s always fun to play for a big crowd. Like as the Russians were here today in a sold-out arena. We know how it’s going to be, but even harder.”
Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists, and Taylor Hall scored twice for Canada. Matt Duchene and Claude Giroux each had one goal and one assist, while Andrew Ladd and Jeff Skinner also scored.
In other games Tuesday, Morten Green scored in overtime to give Denmark a 3-2 win over Slovenia and newcomer Austria beat Latvia 6-3. Denmark and Austria earned their first victories, while Slovenia and Latvia fell to 0-3.
Russia leads the Helsinki “H” group with nine points from three games. Finland has eight, and the U.S. and Slovakia six.
Switzerland surprisingly leads the Stockholm “S” group with eight points, with Canada (7) second. Sweden and Norway each have six, the Czech Republic and Belarus three, Denmark two and Slovenia one.