Defending champions Russia eased into the world championship second round with a comfortable 4-1 win over Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Alexander Ovechkin got the Russians going midway through the first period with a quick wrist shot, his second goal of the tournament, before fellow NHL players Alexander Semin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Denis Grebeshkov put the game beyond the Kazakhs.
Ovechkin, who also scored in Russia's first Group A win over Slovakia, is the biggest NHL name in the tournament with most other top players involved in the ongoing NHL playoffs.
While Russia, who have more NHL players in the squad than many of the other favourites, cruised into the second round with their second successive win, the Czech Republic slumped to a surprise 3-2 defeat by Norway, leaving Group C wide open.
It was Norway's first victory over the powerful Czechs, who won the world title three times in a row between 1999 and 2001, in 14 games since 1937.
Both teams have a win and a loss and the group will be decided in the final match.
(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Ed Osmond; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)