ovechkin-russia-cp-080509

Alex Ovechkin celebrates one of Russia's goals Friday afternoon in Quebec City. ((Francis Vachon/Canadian Press))

Maxim Afinogenov scored twice and Alexei Morozov notched the shootout winner to lead Russia to a 4-3 win over Belarus at the IIHF world hockey championships in Quebec City on Friday.

Morozov beat Belarusian netminder Vitaly Koval with a backhander for the winner. Koval turned in a stellar performance with 52 saves at the Colisée.

Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer and point getter this past season with the Washington Capitals, also scored, with Sergei Fedorov adding two assists for Russia (4-0). Mikhail Biryukov was the winning goalie, with 23 saves.

Belarus shocked the Russians by grabbing a 2-0 lead in the first period, on goals by Andrei Mikhalev and Dimitry Dudik.

Afinogenov got one back in the second, then he and Ovechkin went to work, scoring goals in just over six minutes. Alexei Ugarov scored with less than four minutes left for Belarus but they could not get the equalizer.

Montreal Canadiens prospect Mikhail Grabovski had two assists for Belarus, which has lost four games by a total of five goals since the tournament began.

Niko Kapanen, who plays with the Phoenix Coyotes, scored midway through the third at Halifax Metro Centre to give Finland a 2-1 win over Latvia. Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves for the winners, unbeaten in four games.

In other action, Marcel Hossa scored an added an assist as Slovakia downed Slovenia 5-1, while Cristobal Huet made 40 saves as France trimmed Italy 3-2.

Canada (4-0) will return to action Saturday in Halifax against Germany.

With files from the Canadian Press