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Johnson and Brown help USA get off to fast start

April 27, 2009 | 11:46 am


Team USA won both its opening games at the IIHF World Championships in Switzerland, thanks in part to the efforts of a couple Kings players.

Defenseman Jack Johnson scored twice in USA's 4-2 victory over Latvia on Saturday and forward Dustin Brown notched a goal and two assists in the Americans' 6-1 shellacking of Austria today. Former Kings Patrick O'Sullivan and Jason Blake also scored against Austria.

Of course, USA's first real test of the 16-team tournament will come Wednesday in the second round against Sweden. It's not a must-win situation for the Americans, but a victory over the Swedes could say a lot about its medal chances.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Team USA defenseman Jack Johnson, right, pokes the puck away from Austrian forward Thomas Vanek as Dustin Brown, left, looks on during an IIHF World Championship game today. Credit: Helmut Fohringer / EPA