Kyle Okposo netted two goals while Max Pacioretty had a goal and two assists and Paul Stastny had three assists to lead the way. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots to keep the French at bay. Former Blackhawks and Capitals goalie Cristobal Huet stopped 28 in the loss.
The game didn’t start out quite the way the United States was hoping as France jumped out to a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the first period. Okposo would make sure France didn’t go into the intermission with a lead scoring his first goal. The opening 20 minutes proved to be the wake-up call Team USA needed as they scored three goals in the second and third to roll on past the French.
Up next for the Americans: Canada tomorrow (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Canada slipped past Slovakia 3-2 in their opening game of the tournament. Expect Team USA to have to deal with Cam Ward in goal while Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle highlight the wide array of talent the Canadians brought this year.
Just remember, the key in the preliminary round is to finish in the top four of the group. Knocking off Canada would go a long way to helping the cause and open the door to finishing first in the group.
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.