And, were it not for some superb and timely saves by Russian goalie Danil Tarasov, the score might have been different. He wasn’t overly busy, but the Danes did have a few first-rate chances and many power-plays that they couldn't capitalize on.
Indeed, the Danes outshot Russia, 20-18 and could have done more damage had they scored on some of their eight chances with the extra man. As it is, they were shut out for the second straight game and have now scored only 38 goals in 23 games over the last five World Juniors at the top level.
"We learned quickly that every team here plays hard," said Russian defenceman Dmitri Samorukov. "We knew they'd come out hard after yesterday, and that was our first period, so we came out just trying to feel the ice. We took too many penalties, but we can learn from that."
"We did a lot of small things better," noted goalie William Rorth. "We played a simpler game and kept them to the outside. It was a good game for us. We're going in the right direction. The best thing you can do is forget about a game like that [against Canada] and just work on getting better."
The Russians are 1-0 in Group A (Vancouver) standings while the Danes fall to 0-2 and are already in a bit of danger of having to play in the Relegation Round next week.
"Those were big saves, for sure," Samorukov added. "It's great to have a goalie like that behind you."
Nevertheless, Russia got on the board on a power play at 6:28. Vitali Kravstov opened the scoring moments after Denmark failed to convert a short-handed two-on-one.
Tarasov was sharp again midway through the period when both Lucas Andersen and Andreas Grundtvig had great chances, but the goalie was just that much better.
The Russians thought they had a second goal early in the second when Ivan Muranov batted a puck in off a shot off the glass, but video review showed goaltender interference and the game remained 1-0.
Denmark had two consecutive power plays which were ineffective, and late in the second that second goal finally materialized when Alexander Romanov ripped a shot over Rorth’s glove from the top of the circle.
The Danes again had power-play time early in the third, earning back-to-back opportunities, but again they could get little going in the way of offense.
Pavel Shen made it 3-0, tipping a Romanov shot past Rorth at 13:54. With 3:20 left Danish coach Olaf Eller pulled Rorth during a four-on-four, and kept him on the bench after. Ivan Morozov scored an empty netter to finish the scoring.
Russia is right back at it, playing the Czechs tomorrow. The Danes now get a day off before playing Switzerland on Saturday.