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U.S. shuffles lines, defensive pairs; Stepan and Faulk remain out vs. Russia

Feb 14, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

ZachParise2 Getty Images

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 KeslerPatrick 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 KesselJoe PavelskiJames 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’s Dan Rosen.

Related: USA’s Jonathan Quick will face Russia

  1. cofran2004 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I think these were more the lines people expected, but why change things up? What was done wednesday clearly worked.

    Should be a fun game on saturday….. really looking forward to it.

  2. r8rbhawk - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    I like these shuffled lines. There probably isn’t a stronger grinding line assembled in the tournament than the BBC (Backes Brown Callahan). The “pinkos” are gonna have a helluva time with them. That line has grit, heart, and soul, oh and they are all captains of their NHL squads. Geez, the more I think about it, the more I like that line. Go USA!

    • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      My hunch is that HCDB is putting this line together specifically to frustrate the Ovi-Malkin line. Backes and Brown both bring good size to contend with those two and will be in their faces all day/night.

  3. jkay1818 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    i don’t mind the changes at forward, but shattenkirk and mcdonagh were the two most noticeable on the ice yesterday. they were flying and were unreal at getting the puck out of the zone. why break them up?

  4. stepanup - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    McDonagh has been as successful against Ovi as any defenseman in the NHL. That makes perfect sense to pair him with Suter and do their best against the Ovi-Malkin-Kovy line.

    • jkay1818 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      or just have shattenkirk and mcdonagh as the shut down line. they played more mins in the first game anyway.

      • ThatGuy - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        Likely because they have full intention of playing Suter 25+ minutes against the Russians, Swedes, Canadians, and Fins.

        Seems fairly smart to give him a break against the Austrians and Slovenians of the world.

  5. xdj511 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Seems crazy to shuffle the lines after a 7-1 win, but I guess worst case scenario is that they can move everybody back if it doesn’t work.

  6. drunk4thliners - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    When you can roll four solid forward lines through a short tournament, you’re bound to have success. In the Olympics, instant chemistry is key to a good run, even without the “elite” star talent. I really enjoyed watching team USA carry the puck on the wider ice surface. Maybe we should adopt it for the NHL.

    Also, putting Martin & Orpik together can promote better communication and chemistry for them as well. Hard to think that both may not be on the Pens next year, but for now, let’s put our best foot forward against Russia and hopefully sweep into the medal round.

  7. jasminedonut - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    McD is the best US D-man.

    • strictlythedanks - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Mcd is a Great player, a true minnesotan hockey player, but Sutes holds that title.

  8. qauzaq - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Brown Backes Callahan. One word: ouch.

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