BRATISLAVA – Captain Alexei Morozov scored the third-period winner as Russia beat host Slovakia 4-3 in a see-saw battle to secure second place in Group A Tuesday night.
At 3:38 of the final frame, Morozov swatted a wildly bouncing puck from the top of the crease through Slovak goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Importantly, Russia will carry over three points to the Qualifying Round, while third-place Slovakia enters with zero. Germany is tops in the group and will carry over six points.
"It would have been much harder in the next round had we lost this game," said Russia's Nikolai Kulyomin.
Ilya Nikulin scored twice for Russia and Ilya Kovalchuk was a playmaking catalyst with three assists.
Alexander Radulov also scored for Russia, which prevailed despite seeing starting goalie Yevgeni Nabokov chased midway through the game.
Ladislav Nagy led Slovakia with a goal and an assist, and Miroslav Satan and Marian Gaborik added singles.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov
had a shot on goal while posting a minus-2 with a holding penalty in 10:40 of ice time.FULL STORY