ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) The United States moved a step closer to qualifying for the quarterfinals of the hockey world championship by beating France 4-0 Thursday.
The Americans, who were coming off a loss to Finland, have a 2-2 record and ended the day in third place in Group B behind Canada and Finland. The top four teams advance to the next round.
Canada heads the group after downing Germany 5-2 in the team's tightest win yet.
The game was 2-2 heading into the third period before Taylor Hall, Boone Jenner, and Cody Ceci scored to take the game out of Germany's reach.
In Moscow, the Czech Republic routed Norway 7-0 to go three points clear at the top of Group A.
Lukas Kaspar scored twice, and Dominik Furch made 26 saves for his second shutout.
Host team Russia registered the biggest win yet, demolishing Denmark 10-1 to take second place in Group A.
Vadim Shipachyov scored twice and made three assists, while there was a goal and four assists for Artemi Panarin.
For the US, Chris Wideman, Connor Murphy and J.T. Compher scored in quick succession late in the second period. Brady Skjei scored the fourth early in the third.
Goaltender Mike Condon made 19 saves for the shutout while the United States killed six power plays.
''Our special teams were a factor tonight, and it's important that we continue to have good habits in our game,'' US coach John Hynes said.
The Americans next play Hungary on Friday.