Some smart line juggling from coach Bill Peters helped Canada avoid a potential upset at the world hockey championship.
Taylor Hall scored twice Thursday as Canada earned its fourth straight win at the tournament, surviving a second-period scare in a 5-2 victory over Germany.
The Germans scored twice in the second to tie the game 2-2, forcing Peters to make adjustments.
"I thought we needed a spark," said Peters of the shakeup, which saw Connor McDavid move into the middle on a line with Hall and Matt Duchene. "I thought we needed to shorten it up and get some more guys going in the game.
"Hall and Duchene have played together a lot internationally and obviously there's chemistry with Connor McDavid in the middle. I thought that line gave a lot of pace and was dangerous."
After the Canadians killed an early interference penalty to McDavid to start the third period, the combination clicked when Hall scored his second of the game at the 3:54 mark on a pass from his Edmonton Oilers teammate. The goal was Hall's fifth of the tournament, tying him for the scoring lead with Gustav Nyquist of Sweden.
"I think I'm finding some good spots on the ice to get some passes," Hall said. "I've had a couple of goals assisted by Connor that were all-world plays. It's fun to be out there with him."
Corey Perry and Cody Ceci both scored on the power play for Canada, while Boone Jenner's first of the tournament came at even strength.
Patrick Reimer and Sinan Akdag replied for Germany.
Canada moved into a tie with Finland for first place in Group B. Both teams have 12 points from four regulation wins.
For a time, it appeared Thursday's win might come at a high price. Perry briefly left the game favouring his knee midway through the second period after an accidental mid-ice collision with Tobias Rieder.
German coach Marco Sturm said after the game that the Arizona Coyotes' Rieder, who did not return to the game after the collision, was being evaluated by team doctors, while Perry missed just a couple of shifts.
"We were both turning at the same time," said Perry. "I'm fine."
Forward Brad Marchand, a game-day decision due to injury, took a regular shift and played 15:55 for Canada, but Mark Scheifele did not dress due to illness.
The Germans deployed an aggressive gameplan from the opening puck drop, forechecking hard and pressuring goaltender Cam Talbot in front of his net.
"They came out hard right from the get-go," said Talbot. "That wasn't an easy game right from the drop of the puck."
Trailing 1-0 in the late stages of the first period, Germany had an apparent goal from a two-on-one disallowed when it was ruled that forward Gerrit Fauser had kicked the puck into the net.
Talbot made 17 saves to record his third win of the tournament, while Timo Pielmeier stopped 17 of 22 shots.
Goaltender Thomas Greiss was added to Germany's roster before the game after his New York Islanders were eliminated from the NHL playoffs. He served as Pielmeier's backup.
The win extends Canada's world championship winning streak to 14 games, including the team's 10-0 run to the gold medal in Prague in 2015.
In other Group B action, the United States shut out France 4-0.
Group A action in Moscow delivered two lopsided results. The Czech Republic remained unbeaten after a 7-0 win over Norway, while the host Russians improved their record to 3-1 after decimating Denmark by a score of 10-1 in the late game at the Ice Palace.
Canada's next game will come against 2-2 Slovakia on Saturday.
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.