Zdeno Chara and David Krejci continue to represent the Boston Bruins at the 2012 IIHF World Championship. Games played now are starting to become decisive, cutting the quarterfinalists away from the teams that will be sent home early, and both Slovakia and the Czech Republic are in good positions, although neither are assured of quarterfinal berths just yet.
Slovakia defeated Switzerland 1-0, knocking the Swiss out of quarterfinal consideration on the strength of just one goal by Tomas Tatar (of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings AHL team) and strong goaltending from Jan Laco. Tatar popped home the only goal of the game near the end of the first period and, while there were certainly other chances on both ends, the goalies stood tall and Laco earned the shutout. Also in this game, Chara did not lead the team in ice time: his 21 minute tally came in second to Andrej Sekera of the Buffalo Sabres. He did earn a +1 rating for being on the ice at the time of the only goal, though. While Slovakia won this game, and is in fourth place in Group H, they are not yet safely in the quarterfinals themselves.
In Stockholm, however, Russia was the one shutting out the Czech Republic 2-0. The Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin had one of the goals, which wasn't as immense production-wise as his hat trick against Sweden, but along with a goal by Alexander Perezhogin that came in the first minute of play, it was all the Russians needed for the win. Krejci wasn't as great in the faceoff circle this time, winning just 45 percent of his draws, and he had no shots on goal. Though the Czech team lost, they are still in third place in the Group S standings, four points behind Sweden, but they too need to focus on winning and securing a place in the quarterfinals.
Overall, May 13 was an interesting day at the World Championship: three of the four games were decided by shutouts (America shut out Finland 5-0), while the match between Norway and Germany ended with Norway winning 12-4. Talk about a combo breaker!
Next up for Slovakia is France on May 15. The Czech Republic will take on Germany on May 15 as well.
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