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Americans open World Championship with win over France

Kyle Okposo scored two goals, Max Pacioretty registered a goal and two assists and the United States opened the 2012 World Championship with a 7-2 win over France in Helsinki.

Paul Stastny and Justin Faulk both collected three assists for the Americans, who are seeking their first medal at this yearly event since capturing bronze in 2004.

Tied 1-1 after 20 minutes, captain Jack Johnson and Bobby Ryan scored consecutive power-play goals for the United States. Shortly after a penalty to American Kyle Palmieri had expired, France's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare made it a one-goal game again.

But Pacioretty lit the lamp with just 21.5 seconds remaining in the middle frame to make it 4-2.

The Americans added goals from Jim Slater, Okposo and Jeff Petry in the third period.

United States goaltender Jimmy Howard made 21 saves, while his French counterpart, former NHLer Cristobal Huet, stopped 28 shots.

Canada was also a winner in Helsinki, edging Slovakia by a 3-2 score.

Jordan Eberle and Andrew Ladd broke a 1-1 tie with goals 2:51 apart late in the second period for the Canadians, who got 19 saves from Cam Ward.

Milan Bartovic scored early in the third period for Slovakia, while Peter Hamerlik recorded 27 saves in defeat.

In the preliminary round opener from Stockholm, Christoph Ullmann set up all three goals and Dennis Endras turned aside 22 shots in Germany's 3-0 win over Italy.