Yevgeny Plushchenko was outstripped by Yuzuru Hanyu and let Japan take a leading position in the inaugural figure skating team competition.
Hanyu, 19, gave a dazzling display to "Parisian Walkways" by Gary Moore in the men's short programme after 31-year-old Plushenko also gave a strong skate in his comeback.
Three-time world champion Patrick Chan put Canada in third position after a botched landing on a triple axel jump in his skate to music by Rachmaninov.
Hanyu scored 97.98 points with Plushenko achieving 91.39 for his skate to "Tango de Roxanne" from "Moulin Rouge". Chan scored 87.71 points.
The competition continues Thursday with the team pairs.