Bryce Davison and Jessica Dubé of Canada perform a death spiral as part of their long program at the opening event of the Grand Prix season in Paris. ((Francois Mori/Associated Press))

Canadian pair Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison started the Grand Prix figure-skating season on a solid note, taking a silver Saturday at the Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris.

Skating to The Way We Were, the two-time national champions had a few minor errors but put in an expressive program that moved them up from third after the short program to second.

Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov of Russia took the gold, while Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy collapsed completely and fell to third after leading coming into the day.

Americans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin were fourth.

The competition was missing China's top pairs of Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, along with Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, the latter attempting a comeback for the Olympics next February.

Dubé, from Drummondville, Que., and Davison, from Huntsville, Ont., had a nice start, including beautiful side-by-side sit spins and a pretty death spiral.

But a throw triple flip finished with Dubé touching down just slightly on the landing with her second foot, though the element was fully rotated.

A little later in the 4½-minute routine, Dubé touched down with both hands on a throw triple loop. It was a highly expressive program, however.

Caught in emotions

"We skated quite well. A couple small errors on the throws, but everything was really solid and we skated a nice program again," Davison said on a conference call.

"The performance level was high and we've had some good feedback already."

Davison and his partner were hoping to stir the emotions in the French audience with their long skate, and they did the same in themselves.

"From the first note I noticed I was almost ... lost in the emotions of the program and not thinking about my technical [requirements], and that's what we want."

Russia's winning pair of Mukhortova and Trankov, skating to the old classic Love Story, had some strong elements, including a throw triple loop and nice side-by-side double loops.

They skated carefully at times without any awe-inspiring elements, but they were technically excellent and pulled up the highest marks in both the technical and creative scores.

The gold medallists finished with a two-day total of 192.93 to the Canadians' 180.97.

Total breakdown

Then there were the Germans, who led coming in and left embarrassed by a program that simply went wrong from the start.

Performing to the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein chestnut You'll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel ), Savchenko fell backward trying to get her skate up in the air during a spiral sequence.

Then she hit the ice on a side by side triple Salchow and the couple spent a couple of seconds starting at each other as though questioning whether to continue.

To their credit, Savchenko and Szolkowy finished up and were dropped to the bronze.