The Americans will go into Saturday’s big tilt against Russia with the same roster that earned them a 7-1 win over Slovakia in the Olympic tournament opener, but it could feature a few wrinkles on the back end and up front.
Zach Parise, who failed to find the scoresheet against Slovakia, has been moved onto the wing of the Ryan Kesler-Patrick Kane line. That line’s former winger, Dustin Brown, moved onto a unit with David Backes and Ryan Callahan — all this according to ESPN’s Scott Burnside.
Assuming the white-hot Phil Kessel-Joe Pavelski-James van Riemsdyk line stays intact — and it should, considering it went for five points against the Slovaks — it would leave Paul Stastny to center a line between T.J. Oshie and Max Pacioretty, with Blake Wheeler being the extra forward.
On defense, Pittsburgh blueliners Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik have been reunited, which moves Ryan McDonagh onto a unit with Ryan Suter.
Rangers center Derek Stepan and Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk will again be healthy scratches on Saturday, per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.