Demitra scores shootout winner, Slovaks shock Russia

Pavol Demitra scored the shootout winner in the seventh round as Slovakia shocked Russia 2-1 in Thursday night action in Vancouver.

Demitra out-waited Russian goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov coming down the left side giving the Slovaks a much needed win after loosing to the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Slovakia’s Josef Stumpel scored on the first shot of the shootout to give his team the early lead but Alexander Ovechkin responded in the second round on his first of three attempts to tie it up.

After that it was a battle of the goalies as Bryzgalov and Slovakian goaltender Jaroslav Halak both stopped three consecutive shooters.

After a scoreless first period, Russian Captain Alexy Morozov opened the scoring early in the second taking a cross ice pass from Andrei Markov and blasting a shot high-glove for a 1-0 lead.

Russia did their best to stretch the lead outshooting Slovakia 16-5 in the second, but Halak was stellar, keeping the deficit at one.

Not to be out done, Bryzgalov made a great save on a short handed rush by Pavol Demitra late in the second, to keep the lead going into the third.

But Demitra was able to make a mends mid-way through the final period after dumping the puck into the Russian zone and finding a streaking Marian Hossa to tie the game at 1-1 with just over ten minutes left.

Despite Slovakia being on their second game of a back-to-back, Russia was the team that appeared sluggish in the third period but fortunately for them, Bryzgalov was there to answer the call.

The Phoenix Coyotes net minder, who got the start over Evgeni Nabakov, made 31 saves, while Halak finished with 36.

The Russians were 0-for-5 on the power play while Slovakia was 0-for-3.

In a case of history repeating itself, Slovakia also beat Russia 5-3 in group play in Torino.

Slovakia will try to continue their winning ways Saturday when they take on Belarus. Russia will look to rebound Sunday against the Czech Republic.