Preview: United States vs Russia

United States vs Russia

Saturday, 7:30am ET (NBC Sports)

This Group A showdown will most likely determine the first place team in the group, earning a bye into the quarterfinals. This matchup will be by far the best game in the preliminary round and is one everyone should watch.

Team Scope:
United States: The Americans are coming off their opening game against Slovakia where they put on a 7-1 beat down. The game was tied 1-1 after the first period, but the Americans exploded in the second period scoring six goals. Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick played very well only allowing one goal.

The Americans play a very fast, skilled game that should give the Russians defense fits. The weakest part of the Russian squad is their defense and that is something Dan Bylsma the United States are going to exploit.

Russia: The home team was disappointing in their opening game to Olympic newcomer Slovenia. Despite winning 5-2, the Russians entered the third period leading 3-2. Although they got the win, it was a disappointing performance to say the least.

If the Russians hope to compete with the Americans they must ride their elite goal scorers in Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Tags: 2014 Olympics 2014 Winter Olympics Americans Hockey NHL Russia Sochi United States

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