U.S. to start Quick in final World Cup warmup, Byfuglien to play forward


The Americans will play their final World Cup exhibition contest tonight — hosting Team Finland in Washington — and head coach John Tortorella made a couple of noteworthy decisions prior to the game.

First, Jonathan Quick will resume starting duties after Cory Schneider and Ben Bishop faced Canada in a loss on Saturday.

Quick, who was brilliant in an earlier win over the Canadians last week, might not go the whole way — Ben Bishop could see action later in the contest — but has the “inside track” on being the No. 1 goalie come tournament time, Tortorella said (per AP).

The U.S. opens World Cup play on Saturday, with a game against Team Europe.

Tortorella’s other big decision on Tuesday came in the form of Big Buff — Dustin Byfuglien, the hulking Jets d-man, who will skate as a forward against the Finns.

Per this morning’s line rushes, Byfuglien will skate on what looks to be a bruising line with David Backes and Justin Abdelkader. Kyle Palmieri and Brandon Dubinsky will be the scratches, giving Tortorella a chance to see what a six-man D unit of John Carlson, Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter, Matt Niskanen, Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson.

It’ll be interesting to see how Byfuglien reacts to the move back to forward. He platooned there earlier in his career but, after making the All-Star Game last season as a blueliner, he said he couldn’t see himself going back up front.