In Stockholm, Norway turned on the style to rack up the biggest score of the tournament by beating Germany 12-4.
The US defence had a good day, restricting the Finns to just 18 shots, which Howard dealt with comfortably.
They were equally effective at the other end of the ice, firing five times past Finland's Kari Lehtonen in front of his home fans.
The win vaulted the U.S. into second place in group H, three points behind Canada and one ahead of the Finns.
In the day's other game in the group, Slovakia edged out Switzerland 1-0 to tighten their grip on fourth place.
Patrick Thoresen notched a hat-trick as Norway rattled a dozen goals past Germany in group S in Stockholm.
Thoresen netted his third during a six-goal second period blitz which finished with the Norwegians 9-1 up and the Germans in disarray.
Earlier in the day, Russia preserved their perfect record with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Yevgeni Malkin scored his seventh goal of the tournament when he converted a powerplay to put Russia two up at the start of the second period.
The Russians top group S ahead of Sweden, the Czech Republic and Norway. The top four teams in each group have one game left to play.