QUEBEC (CP) - This wasn't just another other exhibition game for Mark Parrish.
Parrish scored with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation to lead the United States to a 5-4 exhibition win over Canada on Friday night in the final North American tune-up game for both teams leading up to the IIHF world hockey championship. "We obviously wanted to get our first win on the board, even though it's an exhibition," Parrish said. "It was nice to come into Canada's town and beat them."
Matt Cullen had two goals for the Americans - his second and third of the two-game series. Mike Knuble and Yan Stastny had the others before 7,166 fans at the Quebec Coliseum.
Joe Thornton, Simon Gagne, Dany Heatley and Sheldon Souray scored for Canada.
The loss at the buzzer did not appear to hurt the Canadian team's confidence. Canada defeated the Americans 3-1 in the opening exhibition game Wednesday night in Halifax.
"There were definitely some lapses, but those things can be corrected," said Canadian head coach Marc Habscheid. "The desire is there, and that's the main thing you want.
"The rest can be corrected. These guys are high-end professionals, and they want to get them corrected too."
Canadian goalie Martin Brodeur allowed two goals on 10 shots in a period and a half after stopping all 18 shots he saw in Canada's exhibition opener. Brodeur was replaced at 10:11 of the second by Roberto Luongo, who stopped 15 of 18 shots he faced.
"I didn't get in much work, but I made a couple of good saves," Brodeur said. "They broke the ice on me.
"As a goalie it's always nice when you have a shutout streak going. Now, I've got some goals scored on me, so I'm going to look at the tape, see what I did and move forward."
Rick DiPietro went the distance in the American goal, stopping 27 shots.
The best line of the night for Canada was definitely the trio of Thornton, Gagne and Rick Nash. Nash and Thornton spent the winter playing together for Davos of the Swiss Elite League, and there was a definite chemistry between the two Friday.
"I've seen Rick play all year, and Simon is just an all-around good player, he likes to go in those areas where a lot of guys don't like to go and bang some pucks in," Thornton said. "As long as we keep putting the puck in front of the net we're going to get some goals that way."
Parrish took a pass from Cullen in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Luongo off a Canadian turnover in the neutral zone.
"We have to play smarter as a team," Brodeur said. "We made some mistakes and that's why they won.
"With 10 seconds left you just can't give up the puck and a chance to score like we did to lose the game. Physically and skill-wise everybody's sharp, it's the mental game we have to improve on."
Stastny broke a 3-3 tie at 9:36 of the third, scoring unassisted when his weak wrist shot from the right circle went off Luongo and into the net.
Souray tied it 4-4 just four seconds after Canada killed consecutive penalties to Mike Fischer and Robyn Regehr. Souray took a pass at the blue-line from Patrick Marleau and blasted a slapshot past DiPietro at 12:34 of the third.
Cullen opened the scoring for the United States late in what was a listless first period for both teams.
Parrish skated down the left wing while Cullen got behind Canadian defenceman Chris Phillips and got in front of Brodeur. Parrish's perfect pass banked in off Cullen's stick at 18:03 of the first.
"We've been having some great chemistry all week," Parrish said of his line with Cullen and Richard Park.
Canada scored three straight power-play goals in the second before the Americans rallied to tie the game going into the third.
Thornton got it started when his pass attempt to Gagne at the side of the net went in off Aaron Miller's stick at 2:13 with Yan Stastny in the box.
Gagne put Canada ahead 2-1 when he banged in his own rebound at 4:42, only six seconds after Andy Roach went off for tripping Kirk Maltby on a partial breakaway.
Brendan Morrison set up Heatley in the slot for his power play goal at 7:20 of the second while Jordan Leopold was sitting out a high-sticking penalty.
Knuble got the United States to within one at 9:19 when he fought off a Souray check to score from the lip of the crease.
Cullen tied it 3-3 at 19:04 of the second when he banged in the rebound of a Parrish shot that bounced off the backboards.