Alex Ovechkin scored on a penalty shot and had two assists as Russia remained perfect at the 2014 IIHF World Hockey Championships with a 6-1 win against the United States.
Ovechkin has scored in each of Russia’s first three games and is the tournament’s leading scorer with three goals and six points. Russia sits alone atop the Group B standings with four games remaining in the preliminary round. The U.S. fell for the first time in three games.
Ovechkin’s Capitals teammate Evgeni Kuznetsov also scored for Russia, while Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov was held off the scoresheet.
Ovechkin earned a penalty shot late in the first period after he was hauled down by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny Dekeyser while driving to the net. The Russian captain, who was 2-for-16 in shootout attempts this past NHL season, beat American goalie Tim Thomas with a backhand to Thomas’ blocker side. Ovechkin’s penalty shot tally gave Russia a 2-0 lead and stood as the eventual game-winning goal.
Hershey Bears goalie David Leggio made his international debut for the U.S. when he replaced Thomas midway through the second period. Thomas was pulled after allowing five goals on nine shots, while Leggio stopped eight of nine shots in relief.
Monday’s game was the first meeting between Russia and the U.S. since the Americans beat the Russians in a shootout in the preliminary round at the Sochi Games. Ovechkin was one of seven players in Russia’s lineup Monday that also played at the Olympics. The American team at the World Championships does not include any players from its Olympic roster.
WARD SCORES AGAIN IN CANADIAN WIN: Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, as Canada beat the Czech Republic 4-3 to move into first place in Group A. Ward leads Canada with three goals and four points in three games, while Jason Chimera has two assists in three games.
Troy Brouwer, who has played primarily with Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Cody Hodgson of the Buffalo Sabres, is still searching for his first point of the tournament.
GRABOVSKI LEADS BELARUSIAN COMEBACK: Caps center and pending unrestricted free agent Mikhail Grabovski had the game-winning goal and an assist as Belarus beat Switzerland 4-3.
The host Belarusians trailed 3-2 in the third period before Grabovski helped set up Sergei Kostitsyn for his second goal of the game. Grabovski then scored his first goal of the tournament with 2:06 remaining in regulation to give Belarus the late lead.
Grabovski is riding a three-game point streak with one goal and three assists during that stretch.
UP NEXT: Caps goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer will seek a second straight win Tuesday as unbeaten Germany takes on winless Finland in Group B. Grubauer made 19 saves in his World Championships debut Sunday in Germany’s 3-2 win over Latvia.
The rest of the Capitals contingent overseas will be off until at least Wednesday when Ovechkin, Orlov, Kuznetsov and the Russians look to stay perfect against Kazakhstan.
Brouwer, Chimera and Ward and the rest of Team Canada are off until Thursday when they face Denmark. Team USA resumes preliminary round play on Thursday against Latvia [NBCSN; 9:45 a.m.]