SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 18: Alexander Ovechkin #8 of Russia looks on against Norway during the Men's Ice Hockey Qualification Playoff game on day eleven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Here are your quarterfinal matchups and TV schedule


The qualification round has been completed and each winner will play against one of the four teams that got a bye to the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Here are the matches and what channel you should tune in to:

Sweden versus Slovenia (3 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Sweden was the only team to win all three of its preliminary round matches in regulation time. Even with key forwards Henrik Sedin, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg sidelined, the Swedish team still has a superb offense and boasts one of the best goaltenders in the world in Henrik Lundqvist. For Slovenia, getting this far is a huge accomplishment after qualifying for the Olympics for the first time. Anze Kopitar is the team’s lone NHL player. (Watch it LIVE online.)

Finland versus Russia (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN)

Russia’s offense and power play were supposed to be the team’s main strengths going into this tournament, but that largely hasn’t been the case. After beating Slovenia in its opening match, Russia suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States and just barely got by Slovakia in another shootout. The Russians earned a 4-0 victory over the Norwegian team to advance to the quarterfinals, but that match didn’t serve to put the concerns about their offense to rest. Finland will be a big test for them after the Finnish cleanly defeated Austria and Norway before frustrating Canada in a 2-1 overtime loss. (Watch it LIVE online.)

Canada versus Latvia (12 p.m. ET, MSNBC)

Like Russia, Canada has had trouble capitalizing on its overflow of skilled forwards. The Canadians found it particularly difficult to score against a Finnish squad that managed to claim the middle of the ice for the better part of their match. They had anticipated another tough defensive opponent in Switzerland, but instead will face the more offensively-minded Latvian squad. Latvia earned a 3-1 win against Switzerland to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in the nation’s history. (Watch it LIVE online.)

U.S. versus Czech Republic (12 p.m. ET, USA)

The Czech Republic’s coaching staff has made some questionable roster and lineup decisions along the way, which likely contributed to the team’s underwhelming showing in the round robin phase. The Czechs goaltending is suspect too, which will make the United States a particularly daunting opponent. The Americans looked great in the preliminary round. They cleanly beat Slovenia and Slovakia and fought hard for a shootout victory against Russia. (Watch it LIVE online.)

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?