The 2014 Winter Games are drawing to a close, but we still have the most important contests ahead of us. Over the weekend, we’ll find out who will win the bronze, silver, and gold medals:
Bronze Medal Game: United States versus Finland (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) WATCH IT LIVE HERE
It’s certainly not the contest either one of these teams wanted to be in, but it’s the last chance for these squads to go home with something. The Americans were frustrated by Canada’s defensive style in the semifinals, so Finland might prove to be a particularly challenging opponent for them given that the Canadians were taking a page out of the Finns book.
For Finland, this match represents an opportunity to finish with a medal for the fifth time in the last six Winter Olympics. In that vein, Finnish forward Tuomo Ruutu will be trying to go 11-for-11 when it comes to winning a medal in international competitions.
Gold Medal Game: Canada versus Sweden (7 a.m. ET, NBC) WATCH IT LIVE HERE
The Canadians and Swedes both had to defeat their geographical and former gold medal game advisories in the semifinals to set up this contest. No matter what happens, the winner of this match will become the first men’s team to win gold with an undefeated record since the Soviet Union did it in 1984.
Sweden and Canada have won the last three Olympic gold medals, but they haven’t been frequent opponents. In fact, these two nations have only met twice since NHLers started competing in the games and never in a situation where either team faced elimination. Sweden earned a 5-2 win over Canada in 2002 to open the round robin and the Canadians beat the Swedes 3-2 in 1998.
In other words, these teams aren’t used to facing each other when the stakes are this high, but they’ll adapt in a hurry.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: