MINSK, Belarus -- The Czech Republic scored three second-period, power-play goals in beating the United States 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship on Thursday. Rashard Lewis Jersey . Also, Russia blanked France 3-0 to face defending champion Sweden or Belarus in the semifinals on Saturday. The Czechs will play Canada or Finland in the semis. Captain Tomas Rolinek answered Brock Nelsons power-play goal in the opening period, and Tomas Hertl, Roman Cervenka and Ondrej Nemec all beat veteran goaltender Tim Thomas on power plays in less than 10 minutes in the middle period. U.S. captain Justin Abdelkader received a five-minute penalty and was ejected for a big hit on forward Vladimir Sobotka, who needed treatment on the ice and did not return to the game. Czech coach Vladimir Ruzicka didnt give details about his injury but said he hoped Sobotka will be available for the semis. Tyler Johnson reduced the deficit to 4-2 with 1:10 left in the game, and added his second 13 seconds later, but it was too late and the U.S., bronze medallists last year, came up short. "I wish they (the goals) would have come a little sooner," Johnson said. Hertl and Cervenka scored from rebounds during Abdelkaders penalty, and Jaromir Jagr set up Nemec to drive a slap shot past Thomas. "We scored three power-plays goals and that decided the game," Jagr said. "But we messed things up in the last two minutes. It was a lesson for the young players, and for those who never experienced that the game ends only after the final whistle." Russia star forward Evgeni Malkin made his presence felt in his second game at the worlds as he scored a power-play goal and added an assist, and Artyom Anisimov and Alexander Kutuzov also scored at Frances expense. "I felt much better today, I had the time to get acclimated," said Malkin, who arrived from the NHL playoffs. "It was a good win but we could have played better and been more effective." Goaltender Sergei Bobrovski stopped 16 shots for the shutout. Another Russian star, forward Alex Ovechkin, returned after he missed a game due to a right leg injury. "It was a bit awkward to skate in the brace," Ovechkin said. "But Ill play without it the next game, and everything will be OK." Tommy Burleson Jersey . -- Josh Smith made a 3-pointer as time expired and finished with 20 points to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 99-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night in both teams exhibition finale. John Johnson Jersey .com) - Australian Open champion Li Na, former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and former world No.TOKYO -- Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier brought the house down with a new long program to place fifth in their season debut on Sunday at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition. World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States won the gold medal with 186.65 points well ahead of runners-up Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy with 160.06. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 157.58. Poirier, a 2010 Olympian from Unionville, Ont., was out three months after sustaining a serious leg injury this past spring. His leg didnt seem to be a factor as the couple delivered a clean program packed with original moves that received an ovation from the Japanese crowd. "We were very solid and that was important for us heeading into nationals," said Poirier, who joined forces with Gilles in 2011. Oklahoma City Thunder Pro Shop . "Our training has been so limited over the last month. Starting in Japan was good for us because we always enjoy competing for us and they have a great crowd. Were confident we are on our way to getting even better." Gilles said the couple had a slight fear of the unknown heading into the event. "The last couple of weeks been a bit of a roller coaster for us," said the Toronto resident. "To lay down two solid programs was a bit emotional. It is something we will always remember." Gilles and Poirier were one of two Canadian entries at the competition. On Saturday, Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., were sixth in pairs. ' ' '