Split Decision Thursday At Worlds
Four Panthers players saw action on Thursday and it was split right down the middle in terms of getting in the win column.
LATVIA 5 - SLOVAKIA 3
HELSINKI, Finland - Slovakia got behind early and couldn't recover as Latvia pulled the upset with the 5-3 victory.
Latvia jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play including getting on the board just 15 seconds in as Martins Cipulis scored off the feed from former Panther Janis Sprukts. The Slovaks quickly tied it up as Tomas Zabrosky scored 1:08 later but that would be as close as they get.
Awarded a penalty shot with seven minutes to play in the first, Lauris Darzins beat R Stana for the 2-1 lead. Then with 2:36 to play, Zemgus Girgensons scored on the power play for the two goal cushion.
The teams would trade goals in both the second and third periods. Tomas Surovy got Slovakia to within one with a goal at the 6:09 mark but Darzins netted his second of the game 2:41 later. He would finish off the hat trick 25 seconds into the third. Slovakia scored a power play goal with 22 seconds remaining for the 5-3 final.
Forward Tomas Kopecky finished with two shots and a minus-2 on 13:22 of ice time for Slovakia.
CZECH REPUBLIC 2 - DENMARK 1 (SO)
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Looking for points, both the Czech Republic and Denmark played a closely guarded game and did just that as the Czechs beat the Danes 2-1 in the shootout on Thursday.
It took more than two periods for the teams to get on the scoreboard while the Czechs held the advantage as they hemmed Denmark in their zone but couldn't find a way to beat Simon Nielsen. The netminder turned aside 17 shots in the first two periods while Winnnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec saw just nine shots.
In the third the offenses found a goal each. The Czech Republic Zbynek Michalek beat Nielsen with a shot 5:53 in. That lead lasted for 10 minutes when with 4:05 left Morten Poulsen scored to send the game to overtime.
The Czechs had an excellent chance to win it in the extra session when they went to the power play with 2:37 gone but the game would ultimately go to the shootout.
There, Zbynek Irgl scored in the fifth and then the sixth round of the shootout to give the Czechs the extra point.
Forward Tomas Fleischmann skated on the fourth line and registered a shot and 11:31 of ice time on 17 shifts.
CANADA 3 - SWEDEN 0
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - In a battle to stay with Switzerland atop Group S, Canada jumped all over the hosts and Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith did the rest in earning a 3-0 victory over Sweden.
Defenseman Brian Campbell picked up his first point of the tournament as he sent a cross ice pass to Tampa sniper Steven Stamkos for a power play tally 8:56 into the game.
The Canadians really put a hold on the victory as they struck twice in the second period. Campbell's defensive partner Luke Schenn made it a 2-0 game just 55 seconds into the second. Then, Carolina's Jordan Staal put the cap to the game with a goal with seven minutes left in the period.
Smith made that 3-0 score stand up as he faced 17 of the 33 shots from Sweden in the final 20 minutes. On the other side, Jhonas Enroth got the start for Tre Kroner and Jacob Markstrom saw some playing time in the third period as he stopped two shots in 9:12 of action.
Campbell finished the game with the assist on three shots and was a plus-1 on 16:48 of ice time.