It was fair to suggest the Americans would have an easy time with Italy in today’s preliminary round game at the World Hockey Championships.
In the end, it proved to be exactly that.
While the scoreline was hardly as lopsided as Russia’s 10-1 smashing of the Italians on Sunday, the U.S. still cruised to a 3-0 win today — a game in which starting netminder Jimmy Howard was forced to make just nine saves for the shutout.
On offense, Islanders forwards Anders Lee and Brock Nelson combined for all three goals, with Nelson scoring a pair and Lee adding a single. The duo has been dynamic thus far, collectively scoring six goals and eight points over the first four games of the tournament.
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin continued with his run of fine playmaking, notching a pair of assists. He now has a tournament-high seven.
Looking ahead, the U.S. will get a couple of days off before going for a fourth straight win against the Latvians on Saturday. Things won’t get any easier for Italy, as it’ll be up against Sweden on Friday.