It was smooth sailing for the Americans and Canadians in their respective opening contests at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.
The Americans were led by a pair of goals from captain Matt Hendricks to cruise to a 5-1 win over Finland, while Canada got three point efforts from Nathan MacKinnon and Jason Spezza to beat Latvia 6-1.
Highlights from the U.S. romp:
New Nashville signee Steve Moses opened the scoring for the Americans with a great solo effort late in the first period. Nick Bonino and Dan Sexton had the other goals, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 30 shots for the win.
Canada had five different goalscorers in its romp: MacKinnon, Spezza, Tyler Toffoli, Matt Duchene and captain Sidney Crosby, who converted on a penalty shot. It was an easy victory over a Latvian team that was woefully overmatched; the country’s lone NHLers, Zemgus Girgensons and Ronalds Kenins, aren’t participating in the tournament.
Unlike Team Canada, the United States’ preliminary roster for the for the 2015 World Hockey Championships doesn’t feature star power up front, but the team’s defense is shaping up nicely.
Jake Gardiner, Justin Faulk, and Torey Krug were among the 15 players on USA Hockey’s initial list. The American squad will also contain a fair amount of NCAA talent, including Hobey Baker finalist Mike Reilly. Meanwhile, Mark Arcobello will play for his fifth team since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
Here is Team USA’s roster so far:
Goal: Alex Lyon
Defense: Faulk, Gardiner, Krug, John Moore, Connor Murphy, Reilly
Forwards: Arcobello, Matt Hendricks, Dylan Larkin, Trevor Lewis, Jeremy Morin, Steve Moses, Dan Sexton, Ben Smith
The tournament will run from May 1-17.
The Edmonton Oilers have sent forward Taylor Hall home from the team’s six-game road trip for further evaluation on his left ankle the club announced Sunday.
Hall missed his fifth game due to the injury on Saturday night.
As Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press points out, Hall and Benoit Pouliot, who missed his second game due to injury on Saturday, account for a quarter of the Oilers’ goals this season.
“That’s an excuse, right? We’re not going to use it, but it is reality: We do miss those guys,” said Matt Hendricks following Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Leafs. “They play big minutes for us and are big offensive guys for us. But we’ve got to find ways to put pucks in the net.”
Hall has 11 goals and 30 points in 42 games this season.
The Oilers continue their road trip Monday night in New Jersey.
The Edmonton Oilers have placed Jesse Joensuu on waivers with the purpose of reassigning the forward to the American Hockey League the club announced Sunday.
Joensuu has two goals and four points to go along with 14 penalty minutes and a minus-8 rating in 20 games with the Oilers this season.
The 27-year-old was a healthy scratch in four of the last six games, but got into the Oilers lineup for Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues as a result of an injury to Matt Hendricks.
In a separate transaction, defenseman Martin Marincin was assigned to the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.
The Oilers 2010 second-round pick (46th overall) had an assist in 12 games to go along with a minus-4 rating with Edmonton this season.
Marincin, 22, was a healthy scratch in the Oilers last two games.
Edmonton gets back to action on Monday when they play host to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Edmonton Oilers’ stretch of games without a win against the Western Conference was extended to 13 games (0-11-2) Thursday night following a 1-0 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators.
Preds rookie Filip Forsberg scored the overtime winner at 3:55 of the extra period.
Edmonton certainly had their chance to win this one.
Thirteen seconds into overtime Predators captain Shea Weber closed his hand on the puck in the crease. The Oilers were awarded a penalty shot, but Jordan Eberle could not solve Pekka Rinne.
Rinne improved to 15-3-1 on the season with a 37 save performance. Rinne has now won nine of 10 appearances (9-1-0) for the first time since he won 11 straight games from Jan. 12 to Feb. 7, 2012.
Thursday night marked the regular season debut of Predators center Mike Fisher, who ruptured his achilles tendon during an off-season workout. Fisher logged 12:44 in ice time while delivering three hits.
Viktor Fasth made 24 saves for the Oilers, who have now gone eight straight without a win. During the 13 game losing streak against the Western Conference, the Oilers have a goal differential of minus-28.
Edmonton, who is 6-3-1 against the Eastern Conference this season, played much of the game with just 11 forwards. Winger Matt Hendricks left the game early in the first period after blocking a Weber shot off his knee.
Post-game coach Dallas Eakins said Hendricks had X-Rays done on his knee cap, which came back negative, but that he was having trouble bending his leg.