Dany Heatley scored on a four-on-two rush with under a minute to play as Canada outlasted the United States 5-4 in the world hockey championship, Tuesday afternoon in Halifax.
The victory gave Canada a 3-0 mark in Pool B while the Americans fell to 2-1. Both teams move on to the medal round.
It was Heatley's second goal of the game and it came in a contest that had gotten away from the hosts who let a two-goal lead slip away earlier in the period.
"We played really hard right to the end," Ryan Getzlaf, a linemate of Heatley's, said. "We take pride in those kind of wins. We were raised that way."
Brent Burns, Jonathan Toews and Derek Roy also scored for Canada, while Zach Parise, Patrick O'Sullivan, Dustin Brown and Jason Pominville replied for the U.S.
Cam Ward earned the win in net, improving his career international mark to 7-0.
Canada played the game in replica 1976 Canada Cup jerseys as tournament organizers honoured a dozen members of that winning team between periods.
Earlier in Quebec City, Washington Capitals teammates Alex Ovechkin and Sergei Fedorov each scored a goal, helping Russia defeat Denmark 4-1.
Maxim Afinogenov and Konstantin Gorovikov also scored for Russia, which improved to 3-0 in the preliminary round. Kim Staal scored for Denmark (1-2).
In other action, the Czech Republic beat Italy 7-2 and Latvia blanked Slovenia 3-0.
U.S. tough to shake
Leading 3-2 coming into the final frame, Canada went up a pair on a nifty play that would be repeated more than once over the ensuing minutes.
Shane Doan had the puck low on one side of the net and he heard, rather than saw, Roy slap his stick on the ice over on the other side. A nice pass found the charging forward's stick and he buried it past Craig Anderson to make it 4-2.
Anderson had replaced starter Tim Thomas, who was injured late in the second.
That should have wrapped things up, but the U.S. continued to batter away at Cam Ward down the other end, taking advantage of a couple of Canadian penalties.
First, Brown was at the end of a three-way passing play that began with O'Sullivan hitting Parise down low. He then spotted Brown coming in, untouched, on the other side and got a pass across the crease that was converted to make it 4-3.
Another power play, same approach resulted in the tying marker, this time Patrick Kane seeing Pominville cruising in on the far side, again untouched. His one-timer beat Ward and it was 4-4.
"I think we showed a lot of people that we're capable of playing at the same level as these guys," said O'Sullivan.
Americans forge a comeback
Before the ice had dried to start the second period, Canada was up 3-0.
Toews got the puck in the slot and fired one that went nowhere because it deflected off an American defender's stick. Undaunted, the Canadian forward fired again, this time putting the puck up and over Thomas's left shoulder.
There were still wet patches when an unmarked Parise picked up a quick pass from behind the net and zipped it by a startled Ward to make it 3-1.
Parise's father, J.P., played for Canada back in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
Both of those goals were in the opening minute of the middle frame.
A few minutes later, a bad change by Canada bit them.
O'Sullivan was able to take advantage of the momentary confusion to break in alone on Ward where he went to his forehand to bring the U.S. to within a goal at 3-2.
Ward continued to play well throughout the middle frame as the Americans kept the pressure on. On one, Brown broke in on the goalie's right, put an inside-out move on the defenceman but couldn't beat the goalie to the short side.
Early lead for Canada
Burns opened the scoring on a snap shot with traffic in front of Thomas just before the nine minute mark.
It was his first goal of the season.
Heatley made it 2-0 with 10 second left in the first.
On that one, Getzlaf was sitting on the boards when he sent a sharp pass in for a charging Heatley, who deflected it on Thomas. The goalie let a rebound out and Heatley, now right on the lip of the crease, backhanded it in.
That was the Ottawa Senator forward's tournament leading fifth goal and ninth point.
Both goaltenders were strong in the first period, especially Ward.
He made a brilliant stop off Patrick Kane before the halfway mark, a couple of others terrific glove grasps and had to face three consecutive American power plays.
Thomas made a couple of his own, one off Eric Staal on his doorstep and a one timer by Getzlaff.
U.S. outshot Canada 13-6 in the first.