PRAGUE — Sidney Crosby scored again as Canada beat host Czech Republic 6-3 at the ice hockey world championship on May 4, and the United States bested defending champion Russia 4-2.
It was the third win in three games for both North American teams and Sweden equaled their record by routing Latvia 8-1. Last year’s runner-up Finland blanked Norway 5-0 for its second win.
Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier broke a 2-2 tie for Canada 2:20 before the end of the second period. Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin and Crosby both scored power-play goals in the third. The Pittsburgh Penguins star has scored a goal in each game at the worlds.
“That was definitely a good test for us,” Crosby said. “They’re fast and they used the big ice well with their speed. It was a good test for us, both ways, trying to create offense and trying to play defense. The main thing is to keep improving next couple weeks here.”
Canada outshot the Czechs 38-25. They have scored a total of 22 goals in the first three games, most of all teams.
Vladimir Sobotka cut the lead to 5-3 before Tyler Toffoli added an empty net goal with 1:29 left.
Canada tops Group A with nine points, while the Czechs have four.
Goals from Edmonton Oilers forwards Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall — his fourth at the tournament — looked to put Canada in control with 59 seconds left in the first period. But Martin Erat pulled one back for the Czechs just 21 seconds later and Martin tied it at 2-2 with 4:15 to go in the second.
“We can’t (give up) six goals and win,” Czech captain Jakub Voracek said. “We have problems in defense but still have time to work on it. The offense is good, we create some chances.”
The young U.S. team leads Group B in Ostrava with nine points, three more than Russia, and plays Belarus next on Thursday.
In a matchup of two unbeaten teams, Torey Krug used a two-man advantage in the second period to roof a wrist shot for the 2-1 go-ahead goal and Mark Arcobello made it 3-1 in the third.
Sergei Plotnikov cut it to 3-2 when the puck deflected into the goal off defenseman Seth Jones’ stick with 3:49 to go, but Brock Nelson scored into an empty net with 9 seconds left.
U.S. goaltender Jack Campbell made 15 saves, including two big stops to deny Plotnikov in the opening period.
“It’s a fast game, a lot of great players,” Campbell said. “It’s an honor to be out here and get the win.”
In Group A in Prague, Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson scored a hat trick for Sweden and Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg netted a penalty shot for his fourth goal of the tournament.
“It’s always fun to score a lot of goals,” Forsberg said. “We got some stuff that we can work on, both defensively and offensively … to be ready for Canada.”
Sweden faces the star-studded Canadian team on May 6. Joonas Kamppainen scored twice and had an assist for Finland.