Nico Hischier had two goals and an assist while Dean Kukan had a goal and two helpers. The Swiss finish their preliminary round with a game against Germany which will determine first place in the group.
"You want to win every game," said Swiss forward Philipp Kurashev said. "That's going to be our mindset, to win, have a good game before the quarter-finals, so we're ready."
France remains in sixth place with five points, and they can neither climb nor fall in the standings. They will play their final game against Canada on Tuesday and then fly home, disappointed they won't be in the playoffs but happy they will remain in the top division for 2023.
"We weren't as ready as we should have been to start," Kurashev continued. "I think we were struggling a little bit. They came out flying. They were fast at the start, but I think we responded really well in the second and third and got the win. We created a lot of chances in the first but we were a little too cute and trying to do too much, over-passing. At the end, we scored enough to win, and that's all that matters."
Michael Fora agreed: "The first period wasn't enough from our side," he said. "We weren't playing our game, but they were playing hard. We had to re-set and play the way we usually play. We had a lot of chances early, but we didn't deserve to score. Later on, we did."
The French perspective was mirror opposite. "We stopped forechecking and we started to back up a lot and being stationary in the neutral zone," said France's defender Hugo Gallet. "They beat us with their speed. We were sitting back after going up 2-0, and maybe we didn't expect the to come out that hard in the second."
It was a minor miracle that France led 2-0 after the first period. The Swiss had countless spectacular opportunities to score and managed to make the wrong decision on every one. It started early. Pius Suter found himself on a long two-on-the-goalie with Denis Malgin, but he waited too late to pass and the play was broken up without even a shot on goal.
Moments later Enzo Corvi was on a two-on-one, and although he made the right decision to shoot, he drilled the puck right into the logo of Sebastian Ylonen. Hischier had a clear chance in front – shot high and wide. Andres Ambuhl, same thing. Dominik Egli, ditto. Timo Meier went in on a two-on-one and tried a between the legs pass that was easily picked off, and Tobias Geisser also bombed one high from scoring territory.
They made it 2-0 at 13:25 off the rush, Florian Chakiachvili making a perfect pass to Valentin Claireaux heading to the far post, and he re-directed it in. They had a chance to make it 3-0 a little later when Geisser telegraphed a pass at the French blue line. Kevin Bozon picked it off easily and went down ice, drawing a penalty shot when he was fouled from behind. Texier took the freebie and botched it, a lucky break for the Swiss who had by far the better and greater number of chances but who were down a pair by intermission.
The Swiss came out in the second a different team. Those misses turned to goals, those errors to safe plays. Just 25 seconds in, Meier hit Hischier with a pass and this time the captain didn’t miss. 2-1.
They had a great opportunity to tie a few minutes later when they had a five-on-three for 1:39, but the French PK was rock solid. All the same, the tying goal came at 12:27 when Geisser’s point shot through traffic was tipped in front by Damien Riat and past Ylonen, igniting the pro-Switzerland crowd.
And they weren’t done yet. Three and a half minutes later, they took the lead on another power play, Andres Ambuhl finishing the play with a quick shot from the slot in his now record 121st World Championship game.
Kukan made it 4-2 at 11:17 of the third off another point shot that snuck through a screened Ylonen. The play came off a France faceoff win in their own end, but they failed to clear and Kukan got the puck to the net quickly.
The Swiss did a masterful job of protecting their lead in the third, and Hischier finished the scoring with an empty netter with 21.7 seconds remaining.
NOTES: Tristan Scherwey blocked a shot early in the first and didn't return. He was sent to hospital for x-rays...an odd moment occurred early in the second when Tim Bozon slid hard into the net on a partial break. His skate cut the goal net open, and a new net had to be brought in by the arena crew.