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Slovakia, France win at World Championship

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Forward Marian Gaborik scored twice in the third period to lead unbeaten Slovakia to a 3-1 win against Slovenia on Tuesday in a Group B preliminary-round game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Slovenia led 1-0 after the first period on forward Jan Urbas' power-play goal. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros (Buffalo Sabres) tied the game at 7:57 of the third period with a power-play goal, and Gaborik (Los Angeles Kings) put Slovakia ahead when he scored with 5:44 remaining in regulation.

Gaborik scored an empty-net goal with one second remaining.

"We're playing with fire in these games, but we know we'll have to play better because there's another great opponent waiting for us tomorrow," Meszaros said, according to the IIHF website. "But our guys deserve kudos for the way we kept doing the right thing."

Goalie Jan Laco had 22 saves for Slovakia. Robert Kristan made 30 saves for Slovenia.

Slovakia, which has one regulation win and two overtime victories in its three games for seven points, plays Norway on Wednesday. Slovenia, which has lost all three of its games in regulation, faces Finland on Thursday.

Belarus 5, Denmark 1: Belarus scored five straight goals, two by forward Yevgeni Kovyrshin, to win its Group B game at CEZ Arena.

Belarus trailed 1-0 after the first period on a goal by Denmark's Julian Jakobsen, but took control of the game by scoring three times before the midway point of the second period.

Forward Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists for Belarus, which has two wins and an overtime loss against Slovakia for seven points. Belarus and Slovakia are tied for second in the group, two points behind the United States.

Goalie Kevin Lalande made 25 saves for Belarus; Patrick Galbraith made 30 saves for Denmark.

"Of course we're feeling happier than after the last game," Kovyrshin told the IIHF website. "When you win it always puts you in a good mood."

Belarus' next game is Thursday against the United States. Denmark next plays against Russia on Wednesday.

France 2, Austria 0: Goaltender Cristobal Huet, playing in his 11th World Championship, made 23 saves for his first shutout at the tournament and helped France win its Group A game at 02 Arena in Prague.

Forward Damien Fleury scored a power-play goal 6:13 into the third period, and Laurent Meunier hit the empty net with 58 seconds to play for France, which has three points after it won for the first time following two regulation losses.

France plays the Czech Republic on Thursday. Austria, which has two regulation losses and an overtime win for two points, plays the Czech Republic on Friday.

Switzerland 1, Germany 0: Dennis Hollenstein scored at 12:16 of the third period, and goalie Leonardo Genoni made 18 saves to lead Switzerland to victory at 02 Arena.

Damien Brunner's pass put Hollenstein alone in front, and he roofed a backhand over the glove of goaltender Timo Pielmeier, who finished with 17 saves.

"It was a very important game for us," Switzerland forward Kevin Romy told the IIHF website. "We know with Germany it's always a big battle against these guys. The whole team just stayed patient."

Switzerland moved into third place in Group A with two wins and one overtime loss for seven points. Germany is fifth with three points, one win and two regulation losses.

Switzerland plays Latvia on Wednesday. Germany next plays Sweden on Thursday.

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