TORONTO -- Team Canada is one win from the World Cup of Hockey 2016 championship after Brad Marchand, Steven Stamkos and Patrice Bergeron scored in a 3-1 victory against Team Europe in Game 1 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.
Game 2 of the best-of-3 final is here Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports). Team Europe has to win to force Game 3 on Saturday.
Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby, who assisted on the first and third goals, said it needs to be better if it wants to win the championship Thursday.
"I think we can be better, but ultimately we found a way to win; that's important," he said. "We just want to make sure we give ourselves a chance by the way we play. I think we felt like we turned it over a little bit too much and lost some battles, especially the first couple periods. I thought the third we felt like we were better and, hopefully, we build off that."
Team Canada's top line of Crosby, Bergeron and Marchand, and goalie Carey Price, have Canada in position win its third straight best-on-best competition. It has won the past two Olympic tournaments: in Sochi in 2014 and in Vancouver in 2010.
"They're good, and they've had a good tournament," Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said of his No. 1 line. "They've played real well. They've got three elite players on it and all different types of players, but they've been really good. I don't know if they were as good tonight as they have been, but they were good.
"We need more guys on deck than we had tonight."
Marchand gave Team Canada a 1-0 lead on its first shot, at 2:33 of the first period. Bergeron made it 3-1 at 9:24 of the third.
Crosby has a tournament-best nine points in five games. Marchand has four goals, the most by any player, and seven points. Bergeron has three goals and six points.
Price was sharp, especially in the first period when Team Europe carried the play for long stretches. He stopped all 13 shots he faced in the period and finished with 32 saves.
He has allowed six goals in his five starts and stopped 124 of 130 shots. He is 15-0-0 with a 1.05 goals-against average, .961 save percentage and five shutouts in his past 15 appearances with Canada, dating to the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Stamkos scored his first goal of the tournament at 13:20 of the first period.
Team Europe threw a scare into Team Canada early. It almost scored on its first shift, denied by a leg save from Marchand, and outshot Team Canada 13-9 in the first period. Team Canada has been outshot three times in 15 periods.
"There was quite a bit of time during the game where we were dictating the pace and dictating the game, so I certainly feel that we can play with them, and that's what we have to take away," Team Europe captain Anze Kopitar said. "Obviously the first two [Team Canada] goals were mistakes on our part, and we have to eliminate that and play our game."
Tomas Tatar scored for Team Europe to make it 2-1 at 7:00 of the second period. Tatar scored twice Sunday, including in overtime, when Team Europe upset Team Sweden 3-2 to advance to the final.
Goal of the game: Marchand scored 12 seconds after he stepped out of the penalty box. Bergeron got behind the defense and held off Team Europe forward Nino Niederreiter. At the last second, Bergeron passed to a hard-charging Marchand, who roofed a shot over Team Europe goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Save of the game: Team Europe defenseman Andrej Sekera had a shorthanded breakaway late in the second period and was looking for the tying goal. He decided to go to his backhand, but Price waited out the shot and closed his pads at the last possible moment.
Unsung moment of the game: Team Europe established possession and created three quality chances on the game's first shift. The last one, a backhand by Kopitar, looked to be goal-bound, but Marchand was able to get his leg in front of it and steer it aside.
Highlight of the game: On the Stamkos goal, Ryan Getzlaf started the sequence by forcing Team Europe defenseman Zdeno Chara into a turnover in the neutral zone and then finished it with a picture-perfect pass past Sekera's stick.
They said it
"It was nice to see [Stamkos] tap one in and get rewarded for what he's been doing. I said it this morning that he's been doing everything right. He's a goal-scorer, he has a knack for the net. I think as long as he keeps doing what he's doing, he'll get more here as we keep going." -- Team Canada forward Ryan Getzlaf on the game-winning goal
"Ultimately all of us in that room knew we had to play better. We knew we had to play to the level we were capable of, especially after the first [period], and it seemed like we got to it there in the third. We've played, if not perfect, pretty well throughout this whole tournament. So we knew it was a matter of time before that switch flipped and we were able to get to our game, and it seemed like it came at the end of the second and in the third." -- Team Canada defenseman Alex Pietrangelo
"We're very angry right now, which is a good thing. But we also are confident with what we felt today, and it makes us that much more frustrated at the moment. I'm sure we're going to come out fighting very strong in Game 2." -- Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger
Need to know
Team Europe forward Marian Gaborik missed the game and is out for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a foot injury in the semifinal against Team Sweden. He was replaced by Mikkel Boedker. … Defenseman Luca Sbisa and goaltender Thomas Greiss were the other Team Europe scratches. … Team Canada used the same lineup from its 5-3 semifinal win against Team Russia on Saturday. Forward Claude Giroux, defenseman Jake Muzzin and goalie Braden Holtby were scratched.
Team Europe: Game 2 against Team Canada at Air Canada Centre on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports).
Team Canada: Game 2 against Team Europe at Air Canada Centre on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports).