After outlasting Team Russia in an instant classic on Saturday, Team USA is back at it for their final round robin game of the men's hockey tournament at the 2014 Winter Olympics tomorrow morning against Slovenia. A win against Anze Kopitar's squad would clinch first place in Group A for the Americans, thereby earning them a ticket straight to the quarterfinals. Even with a loss to Slovenia, the U.S. can still finish first as long as Russia doesn't beat Slovakia in regulation.
Team Slovenia has been surprisingly competitive in their first ever Olympic Games, giving Russia a harder time than expected on Thursday before defeating Slovakia on Saturday. Kopitar scored his first goal of the tournament in that 3-1 win and will likely see a ton of David Backes tomorrow. It's Team USA's final real tuneup before the elimination games begin so I'm guessing we see Ryan Miller in net and, hopefully, some different forward lines and defense pairings that involve pairing Zach Parise with talented linemates and minimizing Brooks Orpik's role, respectively.
|1-0-0-1, 3 points
||1-1-0-0, 5 points|
|3rd in Group A
||1st in Group A
4:30AM PST | Shayba Arena | Sochi, Russia | TV: NBCSN
Projected Team USA Lineup
Projected Team Slovenia Lineup
Sabahudin Kovacevic - Blaz Gregorc
Ales Kranjc - Mitja Robar
Andrej Tavzelj - Ziga Pavlin
Ex.: Klemen Pretnar - Matic Podlipnik