Courtesy of Point Park University

Hornqvist, Malkin, Simon pick up points in Worlds openers


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Patric Hornqvist celebrates his second-period goal. -- ANDRE RINGUETTE / IIHF

The 2019 IIHF World Championship tournament opened on Friday in Slovakia with four games -- Finland vs. Canada, Russia vs. Norway, Czech Republic vs. Sweden, and USA vs. Slovakia.

How did the Penguins' participants fare in their first games?

Matt Murray was in goal for Canada in a 3-1 loss to Finland, and stopped 21 of 24 shots. Kaapo Kakko, the projected No. 2 overall pick in this summer's draft, opened the scoring with this highlight-reel of a goal on Murray:

Jared McCann recorded no points and no shots in 13:15 of ice time.

Russia opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over Norway. Evgeni Malkin picked up two primary assists on power plays in the win, on Russia's opening goal and fourth goal, both scored by Yevgeni Dadonov off of Malkin's feeds from behind the net:

Malkin's four shots were tied with Nikita Kucherov for the team lead.

The Czech Republic defeated Sweden, 5-2, in a game that featured three Penguins prospects -- Dominik SimonPatric Hornqvist, and Marcus Pettersson.

After Jakub Vrana scored the lone goal of the first period for the Czechs, Hornqvist tied the game 24 seconds into the second period:

Oskar Lindblom gave the Swedes a 2-1 lead, and Domink Kubalik tied the game for the Czechs before the end of the second period. Michael Frolik scored the go-ahead goal for the Czechs 33 seconds into the third period, and Simon earned the primary assist for creating the rebound:

Vrana and Jan Kovar scored late third-period goals to seal the win.

Simon's 22:14 of ice time was second to only Radko Gudas' 22:27 for the Czechs. Simon recorded two shots on goal in the win.

Hornqvist recorded two shots in 16:47 of ice time. Pettersson was scoreless with a minus-2 rating in 14:03.

The Slovakian team defeated Team USA4-1, in a game that included no Penguins players. Alex Debrincat scored the lone goal for the Americans.

There are six games on the schedule for Saturday, with Simon and Teddy Blueger being the only Penguins players in action, as the Czech Republic faces Norway, and Latvia faces Austria. Other games around the tournament are Germany vs. Great Britain, Slovakia vs. Finland, Denmark vs. France, and Switzerland vs. Italy.

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