Team USA opened their 2014 Sochi schedule with a preliminary matchup against Slovakia. It was very warming as a Devils fan to see so much offense in a single game.
John Carlson opened the scoring to make it 1-0 USA and that score would hold for the rest of the period. Once Tomas Tatar tied the game 1-1 24 seconds into the second period, Team USA never looked back.
Basically everyone joined the party today as 11 players had at least a point, 7 of those 11 had 2 points, and Phil Kessel was the only one to have 3 points.
Jonathon Quick made 22 saves on 23 shots in the winning effort while Jaroslav Halak was pulled after 20 saves on 25 shots. Peter Budaj replaced him and made 6 saves on 8 shots. Max Pacioretty and Ryan Kesler led Team USA in the plus/minus department with a +4. Pacioretty had one assist while Kesler had a goal and an assist.
Shots were very spread out on Team USA as well as 33 total shots hit the goal. Only 5 players did not register a shot on goal. Joe Pavelski (0 G, 0 A, -1) and Kessel had 4 shots each to lead the team in that department.
Team USA will be back at it on Saturday to take on Team Russia. Russia is coming off a win today against Team Slovenia. All Devils fans will get to see Ilya Kovalchuk for a good 2 and a half hours and reminisce of Stanley Cup Finals past.