Helsinki, Finland – The United States, Canada and defending-champion Finland all opened up play at the 2012 World Championship with victories on Friday.
Kyle Okposo scored two goals, Max Pacioretty registered a goal and two assists and the United States crowned France by a 7-2 count.
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.
Canada narrowly edged out plucky 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.
The Finns gave the home crowd something to cheer about, topping Belarus by a 1-0 score. Janne Niskala registered the lone goal in the first period, spoiling a 37-save outing by Belarussian netminder Vitali Koval.
Kari Lehtonen paced the host nation with 21 stops.
In Stockholm, Sweden put to rest last year's shocking upset loss to Norway by sending their Scandinavian neighbors to a 3-1 defeat.
Jakob Silfverberg, Marcus Kruger, and Loui Eriksson scored. Daniel Alfredsson added a pair of assists as the Swedes unloaded 44 shots on Lars Haugen.
Ales Hemsky and Petr Tenkrat provided the offense for the Czech Republic, who turned back Denmark, 2-0. Jakub Kovar made 26 saves, besting his counterpart Frederik Andersen, who clocked in with 22 stops.
Christoph Ullmann set up all three goals and Dennis Endras turned aside 22 shots in Germany's 3-0 win over Italy.