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Lightning players get off to strong start at 2013 IIHF World Championships

Monday, 05.06.2013 / 10:25 AM / Features
By Peter Pupello  - Lightning Beat Reporter
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Lightning players get off to strong start at 2013 IIHF World Championships

The respective sides being represented by the Tampa Bay Lightning players at the 2013 IIHF World Championships shared distinct outcomes Sunday afternoon, but from an individual standpoint, each Bolts player cashed in with a strong showing.

Led by a 19-save effort from goaltender Ben Bishop, Team USA defeated Latvia 4-1 to start off the tournament with a pair of wins through the first two games, while Steven Stamkos and Team Canada was stunned by an upstart Swiss team, as it fell 3-2 in a shootout.

After falling behind 1-0 to Latvia, Bishop was solid in not letting any additional pucks get through, which included the Bolts netminder making two tremendous saves on a pair of breakaway attempts, and putting forth a dominant showing in the third period to help the Americans collect the win.

Tim Stapleton, Bobby Butler, David Moss and Matt Hunwick each had goals for Team USA.

Lightning representatives Nate Thompson and Matt Carle did not mark the score sheet, but Thompson did win nine of 14 faceoffs.

Team USA will now face Russia on Tuesday with the opening faceoff set for 1:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The game will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network.

Unlike their North American counterparts, Team Canada did not have the same result, as they lost in the skills competition.

Stamkos recorded an assist in the defeat and registered three shots on goal, while Andrew Ladd scored to erase an early one-goal deficit. Matt Read had the Canadians’ other goal and used it to put his team up 2-1, but the Swiss would respond by coming back with the tying goal and forcing overtime before winning the contest in the shootout.

It was just the second win at the tournament for the Swiss in 28 all-time meetings with Canada stretching back to 1934.

Canada, meanwhile, now has a day off before playing Norway on Tuesday.