Richards scores as Canada pummels Norway

Mike Richards scores a goal in Canada's win over Norway at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

VANCOUVER - The goals kept coming during an overwhelming final two periods that showed off Canada's immense skill and depth last night.

The opposition was too easy - Norway does not have an NHL player on its roster - but the Canadians' early show of strength must be creating enormous jitters among the rest of the Olympic hockey powers.

Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Dany Heatley of the San Jose Sharks scored twice each and the Flyers' Mike Richards added another goal as Canada overcame early nervousness to roll over Norway, 8-0, in its highly anticipated opener.

The Canadians are so deep and balanced that 15 players figured in their first six goals. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins had three assists in his Olympic debut as Canada showed off the offensive strength it lacked in Turin four years ago, when it was shut out in three of its final four games and finished seventh.

After Iginla scored on a power play 2 minutes, 30 seconds into the second period, Canada kept the goals coming - in part because goal differential figures in determining the quarterfinal seedings. Ryan Getzlaf and Rick Nash of the Anaheim Ducks and Corey Perry of the Columbus Blue Jackets also scored in a game that was reminiscent of some of the Canadian women's team's double-digit routs.

"We are in Canada. That's why we had nerves," coach Mike Babcock said. "We want to show how good we are, but we're still a work in progress."

There was a lot of progress made between the first and second periods.

Norway goalie Pal Grotnes, a carpenter by trade, was strong early, turning aside all 14 shots in the first period, but it was too much to ask to keep it up against a virtual NHL all-star team.

"It was a matter of time, maybe, but it was a lot of fun - in the first period," Grotnes said.

Twelve players got a point on the first four goals. Iginla appeared to score three times - he clearly tipped in Nash's shot late in the third period, leading fans to throw hats onto the ice - but the final goal was given to Nash.

"Any line can go out there and create five-on-five chances," Jonathan Toews said. "We're finding ourselves as a team and found our identity pretty quick."

It could get a little tougher for Canadians when they play Switzerland tomorrow, but Canada's first real test is expected Sunday against the United States.