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Ryan Mckenna – Sportsnet

Evgeny Dadonov scored the eventual winner in the third period as Russia held off the Czech Republic 4-3 on Thursday in the World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament opener for both teams.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Nikita Kucherov and Artemi Panarin also had goals for the Russians, who got 29 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky.

Michal Kempny, Tomas Plekanec and Martin Hanzal supplied the offence for the Czech Republic as Petr Mrazek turned away 24-of-28 shots in net.

Russia scored once on four power plays while the Czechs were 1 for 5.

Vladmir Sobotka of the Czech Republic apparently avoided significant injury in Thursday’s World Cup tuneup versus Russia.Sobotka exited the game after he was crumpled on a hit from Nikita Zaitsev, and it was reported shortly thereafter that he was headed to the hospital with a potentially broken clavicle.

However, Czech coach Josef Jandac told NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti after the loss that the injury is not serious, and Sobotka could dress in Saturday’s rematch.

It’s believed Sobotka, who’s spent the last two years in the KHL, could reunite with the St. Louis Blues this season.