Rinne looks to be Finland’s World Cup starter

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As we inch closer to the start of the World Cup of Hockey, No. 1 goalie gigs are beginning to come into focus.

Like the battle between Finnish netminders Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask, for example.

Tonight, Rinne will start versus the U.S. and is slated to play the entire contest, per NHL.com. It will be Rinne’s second nod of the exhibition campaign — after going the distance in a 3-2 OT win over Sweden — and comes after Rask allowed five goals on 28 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Swedes on Saturday.

So, reading the tea leaves, it sure looks like Rinne is Finland’s No. 1.

The Preds netminder looked reasonably sharp in his first outing, stopping 18 of 20 shots, and made a very nice save on Anton Stralman.

Rask, conversely, looked average at best in his audition for the starting gig.

All this said, the door is probably wide open for Rask to get some action in this tournament. The Finns open with a difficult game against the high-flying North American squad on Sunday and, if “TNA” has shown anything thus far, it’s an ability to find the back of the net — and chase netminders.

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