COLOGNE, Germany – Pavel Datsyuk scored a hat trick and Alex Ovechkin added his fifth goal in five games as Russia eased past Denmark 6-1 Sunday at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Two-time reigning world champion Russia earned its fifth straight victory at the event and now has 12 points in Group E. The win vaulted the Russians into a quarter-final berth.
“We wanted to make sure that we’d respect Denmark and play organized hockey, and we did just that,” Russia coach Vyachselav Bykov said. “There were a couple of minutes in the second period where we lost the discipline, but I’m happy with the result.”
Russia, a record 25-time champion, also extended its unbeaten streak at the worlds to 23 games, dating back to a 2-1 overtime loss against Finland in 2007.
“We are going to win a third straight world championship and we are not going to stop,” said Russia’s Dmitri Kulikov.
Datsyuk, playing in his second game since joining the Russian team late, opened the scoring after 15 minutes. Ovechkin tallied a short-handed goal just before the first intermission for a 2-0 lead.
Mads Christiansen pulled one back for the Danes on the power play five minutes into the second period, but Evgeni Malkin scored from a Datsyuk feed for a 3-1 lead with six minutes to play in the second.
Datsyuk added two more goals in three minutes for a 5-1 advantage and Nikolai Kulemin finished off the scoring for Russia with seven minutes remaining.
Vasili Koshechkin made 30 saves in the Russian goal.
Denmark remained at six points with a 2-2 record in the group and still has a good chance of reaching the quarters.
Also in Group E, Belarus beat host Germany 2-1 in overtime on Alexei Kalyuzhny’s goal after Marcel Muller had scored 54 seconds before the end of regulation time.
In Group F, Jonas Andersson scored two goals as Sweden beat Canada 3-1 to improve to 3-1 with nine points and a spot in the quarter-finals. Canada’s record dropped to 2-2 for six points.
Latvia scored five goals in the third period for a 5-0 victory over Norway.
After Lauris Darzins and Martins Cipulis scored to make it 2-0 at the eight-minute mark of the third, Janis Sprukts added two including one into an empty net before Guntis Galvins struck to round out the scoring for Latvia.
The Baltic nation improved to 1-3 in the group with three points, remaining alive in the race for the quarter-finals while Norway also has three points.
The United States, meanwhile, secured its second straight shutout as Nick Foligno scored twice and Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and two assists in a 4-0 victory over France in the relegation round.
The Americans have six points in relegation Group G, but they have yet to secure a spot at the worlds next year.
“It’s a bit disappointing that we’re not playing for a medal. But we need to get back to this tournament next year and give us a chance to win a medal next year,” Foligno said.
“That was a good game. We really needed a win and we approached it the right way. We just grinded them down low and got our goals. We are really coming together now.”
The U.S. faces Italy on Tuesday in its final relegation-group game.
Foligno opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the second period on an assist from Dubinsky, who doubled the advantage eight minutes later.
T.J. Oshie finished off France with his goal early in the third before Foligno concluded the scoring with six minutes remaining.
Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen stopped all 10 shots he faced in the U.S. goal.
France remained at three points with a 1-1 record.
Italy is also 1-1 with three points in the group after a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan, which has zero points.
Roman Starchenko gave the Kazakhs a 1-0 lead on the power play after 45 minutes. Christian Borgatello drew even two minutes later and Michael Souza scored a power-play winner with 10 minutes to play.