MINSK, Belarus -- Defending champion Sweden made the first step in its title defence with a 3-0 victory over Denmark at the ice hockey world championship on Saturday. Colorado Avalanche Gear . Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund scored twice in the opening period when the Swedes displayed fast, well organized play that was tough for Denmark to match. "It was nice to have a few goals right away, keep the pressure off and the nerves away," Backlund said. Another Scandinavian superpower, Finland, began its campaign with an upset 3-2 loss to Latvia and Norway blanked Italy 3-0 while Germany prevailed in a shootout to beat Kazakhstan 2-1. Backlund scored his first for Sweden when defenceman Markus Lauridsen deflected his shot to the net with his skate and struck again by precisely directing Joakim Lindstroms slap shot. Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist added the third on a solo effort after intercepting a pass. "Once we got up two to nothing we stopped taking the puck to the net," Nyquist said. "We tried to make too many passes instead of shooting the puck." Latvia failed to capitalize on its second-period power plays when a total of seven Finns were in the penalty box. Finland used its only power play in that period to go 2-1 up with a goal by Petri Kontiola. Kristaps Sotnieks tied the match for Latvia -- the quarterfinalist in the Sochi Winter Olympics -- in the third before Arturs Kulda netted the winner on a power play. It was the first victory for Latvia over Finland at the worlds. Thomas Oppenheimer scored the decisive goal in the shootout to give Germany the win. Germany outshot its opponent 47-20 but Kazakhstan went ahead 1-0 after a goal from Andrei Gavrilin. The Germans answered through Matthias Plachta at the end of the first period. "I have to look at the positive," German coach Pat Cortina said. "We put the puck to the net and that is extremely important for our team." Niklas Roest opened the scoring in the first period for Norway, Morten Ask made it 2-0 midway through the game and captain Anders Bastiansen rounded off the victory on a breakaway in the third. "I tried to shoot early to surprise the goalie and it went in, so I was really happy," Bastiansen said. "We did a good job. We won and thats the most important thing." Goaltender Lars Haugen made 15 saves for the shutout, but needed help from his posts on two shots by defenceman Daniel Sullivan in the second. "We had a little difficulty in the beginning, adjusting to the speed," Italy coach Tom Pokel said. "However, as the game went on we got better and better. So it was a good game for us." Italy and Kazakhstan are both newcomers to the top division this year. Later Saturday, Canada hopes to rebound from Fridays 3-2 loss to France with a win against Slovakia, while the United States faces Switzerland a day after it routed host Belarus 6-1. Colorado Avalanche Pro Shop . -- The Detroit Lions made it crystal clear to Golden Tate that he was their top target in free agency. Cheap Avalanche Jerseys . Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, the bandleader of the beard brigade during Bostons run to the 2013 World Series title, said he will be shaving his off before spring training so that he can file it "in the archive" with his memories of the teams improbable championship.LISBON, Portugal -- Portugal says forward Cristiano Ronaldo has tendinitis in his left leg to go with a left leg muscle injury as the team prepares for its World Cup opener on June 16 against Germany. The Portuguese Football Federation also says in a medical report that Pepe, midfielder Raul Meireles and goalkeeper Beto all trained separately on Tuesday as they recover from injuries. Ronaldo, the world player of the year, helped Madrid win the Champions League last month despite being hampered by leg injuries late in the season. Custom Colorado Avalanche Jerseys. Portugal is in the United States, where it will play Mexico on Friday and Ireland next week in friendlies before heading to Brazil. At the World Cup, Portugal also plays the United States and Ghana in Group G. ' ' '
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are still looking for a position for Brock Holt. Air Force 1 Low Noir . The versatile rookie has made the search difficult by playing well wherever the club has put him. Holt made his first professional start in centre field and he appeared perfectly comfortable in his fifth position this season. He made a sensational diving catch to end the third inning and scored both Boston runs in the Red Soxs 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Tuesday night. "It seems like Brock at some point in each game has an effect on whats going on," said Jon Lester, who weathered a shaky start and pitched six-plus strong innings. "Im sure well see him with catchers gear or on the mound at some point this year. The guys done an unbelievable job." Holt ended the third inning with a diving catch on a ball that left fielder Jonny Gomes lost in the twilight. Gomes signalled with his hands that he couldnt see it, but Holt was already on the move and lunged just in time to complete the catch. "Fortunately I was able to get over there and make a play," Holt said. Boston fans gave him a long ovation during his entire trot to the dugout, and teammates waited with high-fives and pats on the back on the way. Holt happened to be up next and led off with a double off the Green Monster, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 2-0. "He comes out of nowhere and makes a diving catch. In a way, he took over the inning," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He doesnt get hung up on moving to a position for the first time. He goes out and plays." Holt scored Bostons first run after he singled and then came in on an RBI double by Dustin Pedroia. Lester (8-7) needed 33 pitches to get out of the first inning on a hot, muggy night, then settled down and took a shutout into the sixth. He left with one out in the seventh after striking out six and holding the Twins to one run, four hits and a walk. Edward Mujica pitched the ninth and earned his second save. Phil Hughes (7-3) took the loss for the Twins, who have dropped four straight. The Red Sox have held Minnesota to one run and seven hits in the first two games of the series. Hughes gave up two runs and eight hits in eight innings and struck out six. "He did all he could do. He gave us a great opportunity to win. We just couldnt come up with enough big hits," manager Ron Gardenhire said. After Danny Santana opened the game with a single,, Lester retired 13 of the next 14 batters and didnt allow another hit until Kurt Suzuki singled with one out in the fifth. Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the sixth when Santana led off with a double, moved to third on a bunt by Brian Dozier, and scored on Joe Mauers double. "We need to knock in some runs," Gardenhire said. "We need more of them." Pedroia nearly broke open the game on a fly ball to left that was inches short of a two-run homer. Instead, it was a single, and Pedroia was caught in a rundown. The play was reviewed for several minutes, and the call on the field stood. NOTES: Holt played centre field on Tuesday and has made starts in all three outfield positions, as well as first and third base. ... Lester struck out Eduardo Escobar in the fifth inning for his 1,342nd career strikeout, passing Cy Young for fourth place on Bostons career strikeout list. ... Lester threw nearly one-third of his 109 pitches in the first inning. ... Before the game, the Red Sox designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment. Sizemore returned from injuries that sidelined him between September 2011 and this season. He hit .333 in spring training, but struggled lately. In 52 games, he hit .216 with two homers and 15 RBIs. ... Minnesota RF Oswaldo Arcia went 0-for-4 and is hitless in 20 at-bats. ... Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.55) will face Boston RHP John Lackey (8-4, 3.24) in the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon. Nike Air Force 1 High Pas Cher .Y. -- When the New York Islanders lead was cut in half in the opening minute of the third period, the sense of impending doom began wafting through Nassau Coliseum. Air Force 1 Mid Pas Cher . With the Nets winning streak in jeopardy, Williams scored 23 points, 11 in the final six minutes, to lead Brooklyn to a 104-99 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - John Klingberg snapped a tie in the latter stages of the third period before Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn added empty-net markers, and Dallas topped Ottawa by a 6-3 score on Thursday. Benn added a first-period goal, with Colton Sceviour and Ales Hemsky also lighting the lamp for the Stars, who put a two-game losing streak to rest. Kari Lehtonen provided a 25-save effort to back his offense. Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson scored once each for the Senators, who have lost seven of their last 10. Robin Lehner allowed four goals on 39 shots in the setback. Klingberg put the Stars back on top by a 4-3 count with 9:09 remaining. He poked the puck away from Ottawas Mike Hoffman inside his defensive zone, skated up the right wing before cutting in and beating Lehner to the short side. Lehner was summoned to the bench with over a minute to play, and though Tyler Seguin was caught hooking inside a minute left, Daley picked up the puck off a defensive-zone faceoff and sent the puck into the vacant cage only six seconds later. Air Force 1 Low Pas Cher . . Not to be outdone, Benn flipped the puck from behind his own goal line into the empty net at 19:33 to account for the three-goal margin. Only 26 seconds after Methot sat for holding, Benn put the Stars on the board. Goals 3:22 apart from Sceviour at even strength and Hemsky on the power play boosted Dallas to a 3-0 edge. Before the end of the period, Zibanejad (16:02) and Ryan (18:30 on a power play) cut the hosts deficit to one. Following a scoreless middle frame, Chiassons tip-in of a Kyle Turris chance pulled the Senators even at 2:45 of the third. Game Notes Stars center Jason Spezza returned to Ottawa for the first time since requesting a trade from the Senators last summer, picking up four shots on goal in 16:17 of ice time. Though he was booed the first time he touched the puck, the Canadian Tire Centre crowd cheered a tribute shown on the video board shortly after ... Daley added two assists to record a season high in points and his third multi-point effort of the year. ' ' '