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Russia defeats Switzerland 4-2 at world hockey championship

NHL.com @NHL

KLOTEN, Switzerland - Ilya Kovalchuk scored one goal and assisted on two others as defending champion Russia rallied to beat Switzerland 4-2 at the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Tuesday.

Yitali Atyushov, Alexei Morozov and Alexander Perezhogin, into an empty net, also scored for the Russians, who trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes but recovered to finish atop Group B at 3-0.

Martin Pluss and Canadian-born Ryan Gardner replied for the host Swiss (1-1-1), who settled for second in the pool.

Both teams had already qualified for the 12-team second round, which begins Thursday.

In other tournament action Tuesday, it was: Belarus 3, Hungary 1. Later, Canada plays Slovakia and France takes on Germany.

Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes was strong for the Russians, making 37 saves, while Martin Gerber of the Toronto Maple Leafs stopped 20 shots.

Down 2-1, Russia tied it when Sergei Zinoviev skated down the right side and slipped a pass to Kovalchuk, who tied it up at 9:08 of the second period.

Morozov put Russia ahead at 8:28 of the third when he took a pass from Kovalchuk to beat Gerber, and Perezhogin iced it with 15 seconds left.

Russia dressed 19 players as it waits for reinforcements to arrive from teams eliminated in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Switzerland added Yannick Weber, a 20-year-old Montreal Canadiens defence prospect, to its roster.

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