SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russia battled to a 1-0 shootout win over stubborn Slovakia to close out preliminary round play in the Olympic men's ice hockey tournament on Sunday but will have to wait to see if it was enough for a bye into the quarter-finals.
With a three periods and overtime unable to produce a result, Russia faced a shootout for the second consecutive day.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov scored past brave Slovakian netminder Jan Laco to give the host nation a heart-stopping win and a chance to go directly through to the last eight.
With the United States (3-0) securing top spot in Group A with a 5-1 win over Slovenia, Russia will finish runners-up and will now have to rely on having the best second place record to secure the free pass.
(Reporting by Steve Keating, Editing by Ed Osmond)