Russia routs Kazakhstan 7-2 at worlds

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MINSK, Belarus (AP) - High-scoring Russia routed Kazakhstan 7-2 on Wednesday for its fourth straight victory at the ice hockey world championship.

Sergei Plotnikov scored twice on power plays, and Viktor Tikhonov had one goal. They each have four goals, tied for the most in the tournament. Tikhonov also added three assists, while Plotnikov had two.

“It’s a question of good partners,” Plotnikov said. “We have a good team. We play all for one and one for all and that leads to the results. We’re well motivated.”

Plotnikov, Yegor Yakovlev and Danis Zaripov each had a power play goal for a commanding 3-0 lead. Nikolai Kulyomin and Alexander Burmistrov also scored.

Mikhail Panshin and Andrei Spiridonov scored for Kazakhstan.

Russia leads Group B with 12 points and has scored a total of 22 goals. The United States, Belarus and Latvia, who were idle Wednesday, have six points. Kazakhstan has one.

Also Wednesday, Switzerland ended a three-game losing streak by beating Germany 3-2, Czech Republic shut out Italy 2-0 and Slovakia beat Norway 5-2 for its first win.

Damien Brunner had a power play goal and an assist to lead the Swiss team - last year’s runner-up - to its first victory after losses to Russia, the U.S. and Belarus.

“We found a way to win and that’s important,” Brunner said.

Thomas Oppenheimer scored two goals for Germany.

Switzerland has three points in four games in Group B. Germany has five.

Jiri Sekac gave the Czechs a 1-0 lead in the second period, and Jaromir Jagr added an insurance goal in the third.

The Czechs outshot Italy 37-11, but goaltender Daniel Bellissimo made 35 saves.

Czech goalie Alexander Salak stopped 11 shots for the shutout.

Ladislav Nagy scored the winning goal for Slovakia with 18 seconds remaining in the second period and added another one in the third. He has scored four times in the tournament.

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