COLUMBUS, Ohio — Patrick Kane and Joe Pavelski each had a goal and an assist to help the United States beat Canada 4-2 on Friday night in an exhibition game before the World Cup of Hockey.
There were plenty of scrums, hard hits and bad blood.
“When the U.S. plays Canada you’re going to get that type of game whether it’s an exhibition, preliminary game, semifinal or final,” Kane said. “You’re going to find yourself in that situation in this rivalry.”
The teams will play again Saturday night in Ottawa, Ontario.
U.S. forward Ryan Kesler was ejected late in the second period for boarding Shea Weber. In the third period, Pavelski’s check sent along the boards sent Claude Giroux out of the game. There also was a melee in front of Canada’s bench in the first period.
“There were lots of scrums tonight,” Canada coach Mike Babcock said. “They were generated by the players. The referees can clean that up in 2 seconds. All you’ve got to do is put people in the box. No more scrums.”
Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in the first two periods, and Ben Bishop stopped nine shots in the third. Zach Parise and Derek Stepan also scored for the Americans.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start whether it’s a pretournament game or not,” Pavelski said. “It’s nice to get a little confidence with the puck and make some plays.”
Carey Price, playing for first time since a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee ended his season for the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 25, had 22 saves for Canada.
Patrice Bergeron and Drew Doughty scored for Canada.
Price had nothing to do early as the Canadians held a 12-1 shots advantage through the first 12 minutes. The momentum shifted shortly after the first U.S. penalty kill and the Americans held an 18-15 shots advantage after the first to go along with a 2-0 lead.
Parise opened the scoring when he skated though the low slot to redirect Ryan Suter’s shot with 3:04 left. Kane, the NHL’s leading scorer and most valuable player last season, doubled the lead 1:05 later. He took a pass down low and fired on Price from a bad angle. Price made the save, but Kane scored off the rebound.
“We give up a few chances right at the end of shifts so we were trying to make some plays a little too pretty,” Canada’s Jonathan Toews said.
Bergeron made it 2-1 midway through the second when he converted a rebound off Sidney Crosby’s shot.
Pavelski restored the two-goal lead with 4:06 to go in the period. Price made the initial stop on Jack Johnson but Pavelski scored on the rebound.
“It was tough to come out of the zone,” Pavelski said. “The guys played hard, worked through it. It was a good win for us. There was some intensity.”
Doughty made it 3-2 at 5:31 of the third with a slap shot from the right circle.
NOTES: Crosby’s head coach in Pittsburgh, Mike Sullivan, is an assistant with the United States … Healthy scratches for the U.S. were Cory Schneider, defenseman Erik Johnson and forward James van Riemsdyk. Canadian scratches were goalie Corey Crawford, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Corey Perry. … The attendance was 17,991. The capacity is 18,144.