Sweden picked up their second win in the 2016 IIHF World Championships with a little bit of help from New Jersey Devil Adam Larsson. Larsson had a goal and an assist in the Swedes’ 7-3 blowout of Kazakhstan earlier today in Russia.
Sweden scored the first three goals of the game, getting the first from Mikael Backlund at 12:20 of the first period, on which Larsson got his first point of the game (Linus Omark had the primary assist and Larsson the secondary). The second goal came at 15:11 of the first from Linus Klasen (assists to Gustav Nyquist and Alexander Wennberg).
Larsson then broke through at 16:15 of the first to give the Swedes a 3-0 lead. He scored from John Norman and Mattias Sjogren.
Kazakhstan got on the board with a power play goal after Backlund was sent to the box for interference at 19:39. Kazakhstan capitalized on the power play when Dustin Boyd scored from Nigel Dawes with one second left in the period.
In the second period, Sweden would get back that goal when Nyquist scored about four minutes in (assists to Wennberg and Klasen). The goal came on the power play after Vyacheslav Tryasunov went off for slashing.
Sweden made it 5-1 when Nyquist scored his second about four minutes after his first (assists to Omark and Jimmie Ericsson). It would become 6-1 about midway through the second when Wennberg scored unassisted shorthanded (Nyquist had been whistled for hooking a minute before).
The Swedes had a chance to go up 7-1 late in the second when Kazakhstan’s Brandon Bochenski was called for hooking and Linus Omark was awarded a penalty shot that goaltender Pavel Poluektov stopped.
Kazakhstan mounted a comeback early in the third period when Vladimir Markelov scored (assists to Konstantin Pushkaryov and Ilya Solaryov). About a minute after that goal, Roman Savchenko scored to make cut the Swedish lead in half, 6-3 (assists to Yevgeni Rymarev and Poluektov).
But Gustav Nyquist would complete his hat trick when he scored shorthanded with about six minutes left in the game (assists to Johan Fransson and Wennberg) to make it 7-3. Mattias Sjogren was in the box for tripping.
Larsson’s line for the game saw him finishing with a goal and an assist, five shots on goal, a plus-2 rating and 28:59 of ice time on 41 shifts. Not a bad outing for a guy who is really coming into his own as an elite defenseman.
Larsson and Sweden next suit up on Saturday against fellow Scandinavian country Norway in Group A action.