Russia beats Sweden in shootout, Finland downs Belarus

PARIS (AP) Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin scored the winner in a tense shootout as Russia opened its world championship campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sweden on Friday.

The match finished 1-1 after overtime, sending the match to penalty shots. Nine-time champion Sweden had led through Carolina Hurricanes center Elias Lindholm's first-period goal before right winger Sergei Andronov leveled for Russia early in the third period.

Lindholm was first up for Sweden in the shootout but shot wide. After the next two skaters also missed, left-winger Panarin scored.

Goalie Andrei Vasilevski then saved Toronto Maple Leafs center William Nylander's effort to give 2014 champion Russia victory.

The tournament's matches are split between Paris and the German city of Cologne.

Later, the United States and defending champion Canada were in action.

The Americans faced host Germany in Cologne, while Canada took on 2010 winners Czech Republic in Paris.

Canada needs one more title to equal Russia's record of 27 - 22 of those achieved as the former Soviet Union.

The U.S. won the last of its two titles way back in 1960 but took bronze two years ago.

Meanwhile, last year's silver medalist Finland won 3-2 against Belarus in Paris.

Veli-Matti Savinainen scored from close range with 19 seconds left in the power-play midway through the third period.

Finland led 2-0 in the first period thanks to Sebastian Aho and Oskar Osala.

But Yegor Sharangovich pulled a goal back in the second period and Yevgeni Kovyrshin equalized early in the third.

Belarus had a power-play with two minutes left, and pulled Canadian-born goalie Kevin Lalande for a 6-4 man advantage on the ice.

Finland couldn't find the empty net but did hold out for the win.

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