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. Authentic John Havlicek Jersey . 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. Wholesale Celtics Jerseys Authentic .J. - The New Jersey Devils know the odds are against them as they chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Authentic Larry Bird Jersey . "Youre not really spending time to sit back and analyze what your competitions doing and things like that," Anthopoulos said. "Youre so focused on what were trying to get done." Ultimately, while the landscape around them changed with trades both major and minor, the Blue Jays did nothing before Thursdays non-waiver deadline. http://www.cheapcelticsjerseysauthentic.com/?tag=authentic-kyrie-irving-jersey . - Veteran Kings defenceman Robyn Regehr, sidelined since Game 1 of the Anaheim series, says hes close to returning.CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers leader returned to the field Thursday. Quarterback Cam Newton practiced for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery on March 19, working in 7-on-7 drills during the teams final day of minicamp. Newton said he felt sluggish on his first day back. "My mind was moving faster than my body," Newton said. Newton said his left ankle is not yet fully recovered. However, he expects to be close to full speed when training begins July 25. "Im feeling better than I thought I would at this point," Newton said. Coach Ron Rivera said Newton was a little high on his passes, but thats expected having been out for so long. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback has thrown some passes on the side during recent weeks, but this was his first time working in live drills. "He talked about feeling like hed been cooped up and finally getting a chance to spread his wings a little bit," Rivera said. "He made some good decisions, made the right reads. Just didnt deliver the ball where he needed to. That will come with time. The healthier he gets, the better he gets, the more hell be in tune with what he needs to do." Rivera said Newton was cleared to practice medically Wednesday, but none of Newtons teammates knew hed practice until he took the field Thursday. The coach said he felt it was important for Newton to practice once before the start of training camp. "It just shows the team that hes coming, hes getting ready and hes working hard to get himself ready," Rivera said. "It was good to see his teammates see him out there." Said Newton: "Today is a step forward. Moving forward, this doesnt stop for me. I have to report back here during this off-season to try to get back to 100 per cent so I can be on schedule during training camp. Authentic Aron Baynes Jersey. " Carolinas wide receiver position underwent major changes this off-season, so Thursday was Newtons first chance to throw passes in a live practice to guys like Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant, Kelvin Benjamin and Tiquan Underwood. Center Ryan Kalil said having Newton sit out most of OTAs and minicamp is not ideal, but feels like hell have plenty of time to develop chemistry with his new group of receivers. Kalil points to Newtons rookie season in 2011 when he didnt have any OTAs or minicamp to fine tune his skills because of the NFL lockout. But Newton still went on to win Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year honours. "He played pretty well that season with a bunch of guys he hadnt thrown to before," Kalil said. "So Im not worried." Rivera said the next hurdle for Newton to clear is running. Newton, 25, has been doing most of his running inside on an underwater treadmill to alleviate any added stress on the ankle. Offensive co-ordinator Mike Shula is expected to limit Newtons reps with running plays when training camp arrives. "Were not going to force anything," Rivera said. "Weve already told the doctors they control the situation." Newton has started all 48 games for the Panthers over the last three seasons. But hes one of only a handful of returning players who are guaranteed a starting spot on offence. The Panthers still have questions to answer at both tackle spots, left guard and right guard and at all of the wide receiver positions. "Competition is healthy," Rivera said. 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