Patrick Marleau opened the show for Canada with a tipped-in goal on a shot from Shea Weber at the 13:30 stage of the 1st period after an extended run of shots on goal.
Chris Pronger's dribbling shot at 15:17 was then tipped by Brenden Morrow for Canada's second.
Canada outshot Slovakia 10-4 in the first spell - one that was conspicuously clear of penalties, despite the hard hits on the ice and general dominance of the host nation.
But the second period saw a turnaround in momentum as Slovakia outshot the Canadians and appeared to have more gas in the tank.
Slovakian goalie Jaroslav Halak robbed Dany Heatley and Rick Nash of goal chances late in the period, but the Canadian attack was beginning to appear impatient, relying more on breakaways and hail mary shots rather than possesion and smart build-up.
But an insanely silly penalty for stick holding by Richard Zednick was a
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