By Martin Santa
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Alex Pietrangelo scored in overtime to give Canada a 4-3 win over Switzerland in Group B at the ice hockey world championship on Tuesday, while in Group A Russia floored hosts Slovakia 4-3.
Canada's Pietrangelo picked up the rebound after Swiss defenceman Luca Sbisa had blocked his initial shot, and sealed the victory at 4:14 of overtime, putting the puck past goalkeeper Leonardo Genoni.
Felicien du Bois leveled for Switzerland before St Louis Blues' Chris Stewart netted for the Canadians.
Switzerland's Andres Ambuhl put the score at 3-3 in the 59th minute, but Pietrangelo's strike 46 seconds before overtime ended settled the match and gave Canada top spot in Group B with eight points.
Switzerland, who beat Canada 4-1 at last year's world championship, end the group stage in second place with six points, behind Canada with eight.
In Tuesday's other Group B game Kevin Hecquefeuille scored an overtime goal to seal a 2-1 win for third-placed France against Belarus.
Germany needed a penalty shootout to defeat underdogs Slovenia 3-2 in Group A. Slovenia will now fight in the relegation round.
With the game tied at 2-2 after regulation time, Germany won the penalty shootout for a 3-2 victory, to give them three successive wins and six points. It was the first time that the Germans had started a world championship with three wins since the first edition of the competition in 1930.
The Germans, who had already beaten Russia and hosts Slovakia, earned the victory with Frank Hordler's wrist shot in the shootout.
Germany top Group A, followed by Russia after they claimed their second win defeating third-placed Slovakia in a see-saw contest, settled by Alexei Morozov's strike in the 44th minute.
"It is pity, we had plenty of chances," Marian Gaborik of New York Rangers told reporters. "Never mind, we will move on. We have to play better and take advantage of power plays."
(Editing by Clare Fallon/Kevin Fylan)