Matchup Made In Hockey Heaven

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 9:15 AM
Steve Goldstein  - FloridaPanthers.com

It's the matchup everyone anticipated....the one game that justifies shutting down the NHL for a few weeks: USA vs. Canada.

The rivalry resumes here in Sochi, Friday at noon eastern time (NBCSN), 9pm here in Russia. A spot in the gold medal game is on the line, with the winner playing the winner of the Finland-Sweden semifinal.

Team USA has been the best team in the tournament so far. The Americans have scored the most goals, led by Phil Kessel's five. Canada has struggled to score, which is amazing considering all the talented forwards on the roster.

Defensively, Canada has been strong, limiting scoring chances and getting solid goaltending. Defensemen Drew Doughty and Shea Weber have been offensive forces but the Canadians will need the forwards to start putting the puck in the net if they want to keep winning. Cary Price will get the start in goal in the biggest game he has ever played in while Team USA will go with Jonathan Quick.

In the USA’s quarterfinal win against the Czech Republic, the offense featured a balanced attack, with the five goals coming from five different players. In addition, captain Zach Parise got his first point and goal of the Olympics while defenseman Ryan Suter hit the scoresheet for the first time in the tournament with three assists.

It's a matchup made in hockey heaven, USA-Canada...it doesn't get any better than this.

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