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Sweden blanks Italy to tie Russia atop group at IIHF Worlds

Sweden's Patric Hornqvist (R) tries to score past Italy's goalkeeper Daniel Bellissimo during their 2012 IIHF men's ice hockey World Championship game in Stockholm May 12, 2012. REUTERS/Joel /Pool

Joel Marklund/Reuters/Joel Marklund/Reuters

Viktor Fasth needed to make just 19 saves as Sweden shut out Italy 4-0 at the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Saturday.

Marcus Kruger, Staffan Kronwall, Erik Karlsson and Gabriel Landeskog each scored for Sweden, which pulled even with Russia on points atop the Stockholm pool.

Undefeated Russia has a game in hand on the Swedes as well as a plus-3 advantage in goal differential.

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Italy meanwhile has only one win at the tournament, a 4-3 result in overtime against Denmark. The Italians also have the worst goal differential at minus-21.

Elsewhere, Slovakia cruised past Belarus 5-1, Norway shut out Latvia 3-0, France doubled Switzerland 4-2 and Germany edged Denmark 2-1.

At Stockholm, Kruger opened the scoring 5:13 into the game and Kronwall added another in the final minute of the period to give the Swedes a 2-0 lead.

Karlsson struck on the power-play in the second, and Landeskog capped the scoring with a goal early in the third.

Daniel Bellissimo finished with 36 saves for Italy, while backup goaltender Thomas Tragust came on late in the third to stop two shots.

Slovakia 5, Belarus 1

At Helsinki, Jan Laco stopped 30 shots for Slovakia in a comfortable victory over Belarus.

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Norway 3, Latvia 0

At Stockholm, Lars Haugen earned the shutout for Norway with a 25-save performance.

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France 4, Switzerland 2

At Helsinki, brothers Stephane and Teddy Da Costa each scored and Cristobal Huet stopped 41 shots as France surprised the Swiss.

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Germany 2, Denmark 1

At Stockholm, Germany earned its second win of the tournament after Philip Gogulla scored the winning goal in the third.

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