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World champion Patrick Chan tumbled three times in his free skate but combined with Kevin Reynolds to lift Canada into second spot behind the United States at the World Team Trophy competition Friday.
Chan, fresh from his third straight world triumph and cushioned by a solid lead from the short programme, still finished second overall behind Grand Prix Final winner Daisuke Takahashi of Japan in the men's singles.
"It's frustrating because I had such a great ending to the season," the 22-year-old Chan said after his meltdown in the long programme, recalling the world championships held four weeks ago at home in London, Ontario.
He said the championships had taken "a lot of energy out of the Canadians" because the event was "almost another Vancouver Olympics for us."
"I've trained very hard as I did into the worlds," he said. "But my body was not happy about competing at this time of the season."
Reynolds, who won the Four Continents title in Chan's absence in February, scored the second best free skate after Takahashi's and finished third overall, climbing six spots from his short-programme standing.
The United States led the provisional team standings with 55 points after Madison Chock and Evan Bates beat Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje into second spot overall in the ice dance. Canada followed with 50 points and Japan third on 48.
The final standings were to be decided after the women's and pairs' free programmes were contested on Saturday.
Results from short programmes were given provisional points to be superceded by points from final results. First place in each category is awarded 12 points with fewer points given for lower finishes.
Right after nailing his opening quadruple toeloop, Chan under-rotated his second four-revolution attempt and crashed in landing his next jump, a triple axel, as he skated to "La Boheme" by Giacomo Puccini.
Visibly worn out, he was shaky in landing each jump in a triple-single-triple combination. After hitting a maximum level-four in a flying sit spin, he crashed again after a triple lutz and ended his programme lying flat on the ice in his final element, a change-foot spin.
He scored 153.53 points, fifth in the free skate, but finished with a two-day total of 240.21 against 249.52 for Takahashi.
Takahashi played it safe by changing his second planned quad into a triple-double combination after nailing his opening four-revolution jump.
Skating to "I Pagliacci" by Ruggero Leoncavallo, he could only mark level-four in a change-foot combination spin. His free skate score was 168.65 points.
The US team was also bolstered by Max Aaron and Jeremy Abbott who finished fourth and sixth in the men's singles.
Russia slipped one spot to fourth place after Konstantin Menshov, third in the short programme, was withdrawn after injuring his right shoulder in a spill after a triple axel early in his free skate.
The World Team Trophy was launched in 2009 as a two-yearly event with a similar team competition due to make its Olympic debut in Sochi next year.
The United States won the inaugural event and Japan took the second edition, both in Tokyo. The 2011 event was postponed by a year due to a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.