Saturday, May 5, 2012
U.S. tops Canada in OT at worlds
HELSINKI -- Jack Johnson scored his second goal of the game 1:47 into overtime to give the United States a 5-4 victory over Canada on Saturday in the hockey world championships.
Jim Slater, Patrick Dwyer and Nate Thompson also scored in regulation for the Americans (2-0-0), who beat Canada at the event for the first time since 2001 and the fourth time in 42 tries overall.
John Tavares, Jeff Skinner, Evander Kane and Duncan Keith scored for Canada (1-0-1).
Jimmy Howard stopped 42 shots for the U.S., while Cam Ward had 29 saves for Canada.
In the other Group A game, Switzerland beat Kazakhstan 5-1.
In Stockholm in Group B, Evgeni Malkin scored twice in Russia's opening 5-2 victory over Latvia, and Detroit teammates Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall scored to help Sweden improve to 2-0 with a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic.
It didn't take the Americans long to show Canada that a tough test was in store.
Slater skated into the offensive zone and ripped a shot past Ward at 1:10 of the first period. The Winnipeg forward celebrated with an exuberant fist pump. The Canadians quickly got that back when Keith feathered a pass to Tavares, who outwaited Howard to tie it at 6:38.
Ward kept the game tied with several stellar saves. He denied Max Pacioretty on a breakaway before robbing Kyle Okposo of a sure goal with the paddle of his stick just before the first intermission.
Even after Skinner got his first goal of the tournament at 7:34 of the second to make it 2-1 for Canada, the Americans continued to have the best scoring chances. Ward made a nice pad stop on a J.T. Brown chance and denied Paul Stastny from in close.
Johnson eventually broke through on a power play. The U.S. captain and Columbus player scored on a high wrist shot with 6:06 left to make it 2-2 heading to the third period.
Dwyer put the Americans back ahead at 6:43 of the third, collecting a turnover behind the goal and stuffing it past Ward, his teammate with Carolina.
Kane tied it just over 3 minutes later with a nice wrist shot that Howard got a piece of.
It looked as though the U.S. would claim victory in regulation when Thompson swatted a puck behind Ward with less than 4 minutes to go, but Keith tied it up again with 1:39 left with a slap shot through traffic.