TORONTO — The United States was eliminated from contention at the World Cup of Hockey after a 4-2 loss to Canada on Tuesday night that featured a clinical, dominant performance by the tournament favorite.
The US (0-2) couldn’t keep up with Canada’s talent, depth, or speed in a game it needed to win to stay alive. Canada and Team Europe clinched spots in the semifinals, while the Americans are left to analyze what went wrong on the international stage yet again.
Matt Duchene scored twice and Corey Perry and the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron each had a goal for Canada, which got 34 saves from Carey Price. US goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots, keeping the game from becoming even more of a blowout.
Ryan McDonagh and T.J Oshie scored for the US.
US general manager Dean Lombardi said in June his goal was to build a team that could beat Canada. This loss dropped the US to 1-5 against the world’s top hockey power in best-on-best competition since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
The Americans still have one round-robin game left, Thursday against the similarly lame-duck Czech Republic.
On Tuesday night, the play was even more lopsided than the score indicated, with Canada grabbing control after McDonagh’s rebound goal 4:22 in. Counting the World Cup and Olympics, the US has only two goals over the last 11 periods.
The US lead lasted 1:29 as Duchene and Perry scored 14 seconds apart. American defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, inserted into the lineup to provide offense, lost Duchene and allowed him to put the puck into a wide-open net.
John Tortorella, whose decisions have been second-guessed since he was named coach — another move that was criticized — tried unsuccessfully to challenge Perry’s goal for goaltender interference. He then appeared to unsuccessfully yank Quick for Ben Bishop after Duchene’s second goal, even though Max Pacioretty botched a clearing attempt and Erik Johnson was caught flat-footed, but he was talked out of it by his assistants.
Quick was hardly to blame for another US debacle. Canada’s fourth goal came when John Tavares undressed Matt Niskanen and banked the puck in off the skates of McDonagh and Bergeron. McDonagh’s play was a rare bright spot on another dark night for USA Hockey, which now has major changes to contemplate.
The American players had their own individual problems against Canada that weren’t cured by Oshie’s late goal. Tortorella said his best players had to be his best players, and aside from Quick, that was not the case.
Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane had a secondary assist on McDonagh’s goal but was a nonfactor the rest of the night. Captain Joe Pavelski and winger Zach Parise also failed to make a difference in one of the biggest games for this generation of Americans that had developed a reputation for coming up short against Canada.
In a Group B game, Sweden blanked Tuukka Rask and Finland, 2-0.
The old Henrik Lundqvist was back in net for Sweden.
The 34-year-old Lundqvist made 36 saves.
to help Sweden beat Finland, 2-0, in the World Cup of Hockey on Tuesday.
‘‘We were confident with him coming in today, even after Jacob [Markstrom] played such a good game like he did [on Sunday],’’ Swedish captain Henrik Sedin said. ‘‘Being around Henrik for a few weeks now, we knew he was going to come in and have a great game.’’
Anton Stralman and Loui Eriksson scored as the Swedes (2-0-0) got a firm grip on the top spot in Group B. Finland (0-2-0) is facing long odds for advancing to the semifinals.
Lundqvist, who missed Sweden’s first game of the tournament due to an illness, struggled in pre-tournament competition, posting a 4.49 goals-against average and a .778 save percentage in two appearances. The Rangers goaltender was pulled from last Wednesday’s game against Team Europe after allowing five goals on 22 shots in a 6-2 loss.
‘‘I felt pretty rusty out there the first period, not as aware as I wanted to be, but I got some really good help with some loose pucks and stuff like that,’’ Lundqvist said. ‘‘Second and third, I felt more comfortable, but it was fun. I really enjoyed being out there playing. Big game, important game, not being able to play the first, you never know where it’s going when you’re not healthy.’’
Rask, starting in the Finnish goal over Pekka Rinne, stopped 27 shots.
‘‘We played such a great game, started off well, created so many good scoring chances, but we didn’t score,’’ Finnish coach Lauri Marjamaki said. ‘‘Of course the goalie Lundqvist was impressive. But so proud of my players and our team effort. But it is not enough.’’
Finland’s Mikael Granlund had two excellent scoring chances in the third, but Lundqvist got his right pad on the first shot and Granlund put his rebound off the post.
The matchup got physical in the third when Finland’s Sami Lepisto caught Sweden’s Mikael Backlund with a questionable high hit just inside Sweden’s blue line with a little over nine minutes to play. Lepisto was assessed a minor penalty for roughing, while Backlund received treatment on the Swedish bench.
‘‘It was a shoulder hit to the head, or towards the nose,’’ Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said. ‘‘I know he was bleeding a little bit [from] his nose.’’
Sweden led 1-0 after two periods. Stralman, a defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightning, put a backhand feed from Sedin past Rask at 9:57 of the middle period.
Finland’s Patrik Laine had a strong scoring opportunity in the final minute of the second, but Lundqvist was able to get his glove on Laine’s one-timer.
Every single Finnish player had a shot on goal. Laine, a first-round pick by the Winnipeg Jets, led the way with five.
‘‘We had many good scoring chances, but he was playing awesome in the net,’’ Laine said.
Sweden concludes the preliminary round on Wednesday against Team North America, and Finland meets Russia on Thursday.