Russia, Czechs win worlds openers

COLOGNE, Germany -- Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored to help two-time defending champion Russia open the world hockey championships with a 3-1 victory over Slovakia on Sunday.

Maxim Afinogenov and Viktor Kozlov also scored, and Vasili Koshechkin made 32 saves. Ivan Majesky scored for Slovakia in the Group A game.

Also in Group A, Belarus rallied to top Kazakhstan 5-2.

In Group C, Jaromir Jagr set up three goals to help the Czech Republic beat France 6-2. Jiri Novotny had a goal and two assists for the Czechs.

The Czechs went up 5-0 when Lukas Kaspar scored six minutes into the third period, before France pulled two goals back in two minutes through Yorick Treille and Laurent Meunier.

Jagr then set up Miroslav Blatak for a power-play goal with 33 seconds left for the final score.

Also in Group C, Matt Weinhandl had three goals in Sweden's 5-2 win over Norway.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.