Kane, Heatley shine as U.S., Canada win world openers

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and Tim Thomas made 24 saves to help the United States beat Latvia 4-0 on Friday night in the Americans' opening preliminary round game in the world championship.

Kane, the 19-year-old star who had 72 points in 82 games for Chicago this season, assisted on Dustin Brown's first-period goal, then added a goal midway through the second. Kane took the puck near Latvia's blue line, skated in and fired a snap shot past goalie Edgars Masalskis. Kane also set up Zach Parise's third-period goal.

Patrick O'Sullivan also scored, and Paul Martin had three assists.

American forward Lee Stempniak was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway shortly after Kane's goal. Stempniak couldn't beat Masalskis, who closed his pads to stop a shot. Masalskis made 45 saves.

The Americans will return to action Sunday night against Slovenia.

In the other Group B opener in Halifax, Dany Heatley had three goals and an assist in defending champion Canada's 5-1 victory over Slovenia.

Heatley has 23 goals in the world championships, the most by a Canadian player. The Ottawa Senators star broke the mark of 21 set by Marcel Dionne.

Dan Hamhuis and Martin St. Louis also scored for Canada. Cam Ward made 21 saves, allowing only Anze Kopitar's goal on a 5-on-3 power play.

The Canadians had a 65-22 shots advantage.

In Group D play in Quebec City, the Czech Republic beat Denmark 5-2, and Russia routed Italy 7-1.

The tournament is being played in Canada for the first time.