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Weber, St. Louis spark Canadian power play during 7-3 win over Slovakia

NHL.com @NHL

KLOTEN, Switzerland - The Canadian team is firing on all cylinders at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Shea Weber scored one of Canada's five power-play goals and added three assists Tuesday en route to a 7-3 victory over Slovakia. It was the third straight lopsided win to open the tournament for Canada, which is looking to win gold after settling for a silver a year ago on home ice.

Jason Spezza, with two, Derek Roy, Shane Doan, Ian White and Steven Stamkos also had goals for Canada. Martin St. Louis added four assists to bring his tournament-leading point total to nine.

Canada now moves into the qualification round and will face either Finland or the Czech Republic on Thursday evening. Tomas Surovy, Marcel Hossa and Dominik Granak replied for Slovakia.

In Tuesday's other games, Russia defeated Switzerland 4-2, Belarus beat Hungary 3-1 and France stunned Germany with a 2-1 victory.

The Canada-Slovakia game would have been much closer if not for some undisciplined play by the Slovaks. They came out hard and were finding some early success on the forecheck, creating a hostile environment inside a soldout Kloten Arena.

Canadian forward James Neal was knocked out of the game after just three minutes when he was caught by a high-stick while colliding with Ladislav Nagy. That opened a laceration near Neal's eye and he was taken to the hospital for stitches.

There was no penalty called on that play but the Slovaks soon found themselves parading to the box and Canada made them pay.

Roy opened the scoring on a power play at 4:50 by walking in off the point and wiring a shot behind Jaroslav Halak. Doan extended the lead on a 5-on-3 advantage at 6:54 before Spezza scored his first of the night on a power play at 16:51.

Even though the game was 3-0 at that point, it could have been much closer. Slovakia looked pretty dangerous whenever it wasn't killing a penalty.

The Slovaks briefly gave their fans some hope for a comeback when Surovy beat Dwayne Roloson with a quick shot at 6:05 of the second period, but White killed those hopes by hammering a shot by Halak a little over three minutes later.

More penalty trouble helped Canada build a 6-1 lead before the end of the second period.

Weber displayed his big shot by scoring on another 5-on-3 advantage at 13:41, chasing Halak from the net. Replacement Jan Lasak was in less than two minutes before Stamkos beat him high on yet another Canadian power play.

Spezza and Hossa traded goals in a third period that got fairly chippy as the minutes ticked away. Granak rounded out the scoring with 1:12 to play.

Another comfortable win for Canada included another record for Dany Heatley. His assist on Doan's goal was the 22nd he's registered in a world championship, pushing him past Steve Yzerman for the most by a Canadian player since NHLers starting competing in the event in 1977.

Russia 4 Switzerland 2

At Bern, Alexei Morozov broke a third-period tie and Ilya Bryzgalov made 37 saves as Russia defeated host Switzerland.

The defending champions also had goals from Vitali Atyushov, Alexander Perezhogin and Ilya Kovalchuk. Martin Pluss and Ryan Gardner replied for the Swiss.

Belarus 3 Hungary 1

At Kloten, Alexei Ugarov scored the winner with 5:35 left in the third period as Belarus survived a scare from Hungary.

Alexei Kaliuzhny and Mikhail Grabovski had the other goals for Belarus.

Levente Szuper made 39 saves and Imre Peterdi scored for Hungary, which was dropped to the relegation round.

France 2 Germany 1

At Bern, Luc Tardif's goal at 16:48 of the first period held up as the winner in France's upset win over the Germans.

Anthoine Lussier also scored for France, which celebrated the victory like it had won a big playoff series. Jochen Hecht had the lone goal for Germany.

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