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USA finally get it rolling

Third-period goals lead to come-from-behind win over Norway

Monday, 05.2.2011 / 12:52 PM ET / News
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USA finally get it rolling
By Paul Romanuk, IIHF

KOSICE –
Nick Palmieri scored the game winner on a power play with 6:16 to go in the third period on the way to Team USA's 4-2 victory over Norway. Palmieri’s goal made it 3-2 and Craig Smith nailed it down with another power play goal at 18:34. It was Palmieri’s second goal of the game and capped a U.S. effort that saw them recover from a 2-0 deficit. The U.S. now has two wins and six points in Group C, while Norway has two points, with a loss and an overtime win.

It was an unusual game. Despite trailing 2-0 after two periods, it was the USA that held the territorial advantage, but the Norwegians just never got into serious trouble. They never got caught that badly out of position, or gave the U.S. shooters that great of an angle to fire from. There was also the issue of the Americans not being able to get things rolling.

It wasn’t that the USA was particularly awful. It was just one of those games a team plays that is almost painful to watch – they have the puck a lot but can’t do anything with it. Passes don’t hit the mark, scoring chances either punish the boards behind the net or thump into the middle of the logo on the goalie’s sweater. The Americans had two power plays in the second half of the second period and, on both occasions, just couldn’t get the puck to the front of the net. Cam Fowler had the best chance during the second power play when he blasted a shot from near the right face off circle that actually almost avoided the goalie. It must have been a frustrating afternoon if you were a fan of the USA.

Norway’s opened the scoring at 8:09 of the first period. Ken Andre Olimb battled his way from the left wing corner to the front of the net and, amidst a maze of sticks and skates, jammed the puck in behind U.S. goalie Al Montoya. The play was reviewed, but the replay showed the puck was clearly crossing the goal line just inside the left post.

Just 1:13 later, during a USA power play, Anders Bastiansen picked off an errant pass just inside of the Norwegian blue line and was off at full speed towards Montoya with a breakaway chance. He finished off by scoring his second goal of the tournament to put the Polar Bears up 2-0. But the second upset win for Norway just wasn’t in the cards.

The USA finally got unstuck early in the third period. Chris Kreider sent a beautiful pass from the left wing that found Palmieri breaking in on the right side and finishing off by tapping the puck in behind Lars Haugen. 2:43 after that goal, Jack Skille tied the game at 2-2. Skille was just off of the left edge of the crease, and Tim Stapleton found him with a quick pass from along the right wing boards. You could almost feel the relief radiating from the U.S. players as they finally started to see some results after two periods of frustration.

The USA out shot Norway 49-15.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 9 6 5 0 11
K. Okposo 9 1 6 0 7
F. Nielsen 9 3 2 -1 5
B. Nelson 9 1 4 -4 5
T. Hickey 9 1 4 -4 5
A. Quine 9 1 4 0 5
S. Prince 9 3 1 1 4
R. Strome 6 1 3 3 4
N. Leddy 9 1 3 3 4
C. Clutterbuck 9 2 1 -1 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 4 1 .930 2.34
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