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Slovakia wins 3rd game, Switzerland, Belarus earn 2nd wins, France gets 1st victory at worlds

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PRAGUE — Slovakia struck late to overcome Slovenia 3-1 for its third victory at the ice hockey world championship and France ended a two-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over Austria on Tuesday.

Earlier, Switzerland edged Germany 1-0 and Belarus beat Denmark 5-1 for their second victories at the tournament.

Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik scored on a power play with 5:44 remaining and added his second into an empty net with one second to go to lead Slovakia to victory.

"It wasn't our best game," Gaborik said. "But we showed we know what to do when we're losing."

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros had tied it in the final period after Jan Urbas gave Slovenia a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Damien Fleury scored on a power play 6:13 into the final period and Laurent Meunier added the second into an empty net with 58 seconds left for France's first win at the tournament.

"That's a big win for us," Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel said. "We deserved the three points but that was a hard battle for both teams."

Earlier, the defeat by Switzerland was another blow for Germany's campaign after a humiliating 10-0 loss to Canada in its previous game on Sunday.

PHOTO: Switzerland’s Denis Hollenstein, left, celebrates with Switzerland’s Eric Blum, after scoring against Germany during the Hockey World Championships Group A match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Switzerland’s Denis Hollenstein, left, celebrates with Switzerland’s Eric Blum, after scoring against Germany during the Hockey World Championships Group A match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Denis Hollenstein ended the deadlock with a backhand shot in the final period with 7:44 remaining.

"It was an important game for us all," Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala said. "We just have to keep going like that. "Nobody's bad in this sport any more. Every game is gonna be tough."

Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni made 18 saves for his shutout.

Switzerland is third in Group A in Prague with seven points from three games, while Germany and France have three points and Austria is on two.

Germany's Arizona Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder saw some positive signs in his team's play.

"We played a way better than against Canada," he said. "We did a lot of good things in this game so we probably take that to the next game and try to do better next time."

The top four teams in each of the two groups of eight will advance to the quarterfinals.

In Ostrava, Artur Gavrus, Evgeni Kovyrshin and Ilya Shinkevich rallied Belarus to victory with second period goals.

Kovyrshin scored again in the final period and defenseman Ivan Usenko added the fifth to move to their team to second place in Group B together with Slovakia with seven points from three games. The United States leads with nine points.

"I thought the last two periods we played really strong," Belarus goalie Kevin Lalande said. "We have to play 60 minutes against teams like Finland, USA and Russia. If we take one minute off, it's gonna hurt us."

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PHOTO: France’s Laurent Meunier celebrates after scoring against Austria during the Hockey World Championships Group A match in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. France won the match 2-0. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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