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Czechs’ Elias (illness) good to play against U.S.

Feb 19, 2014, 7:40 AM EDT

Niklas Kronwall, Patrik Elias AP

The Czechs need all the help they can get when they take on the United States in the quarterfinals, so it should come as a relief to the squad that forward Patrik Elias is ready to return from an illness, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.

Elias missed the Czechs’ final round robin game against Switzerland and their qualification match against Slovakia as a result of the disease. Before that, Elias had an assist in two Olympic contests.

He’s another member of the old guard that was included on the Czech Republic’s roster, but he’s certainly still effective at the age of 37. He has scored 11 goals and registered 22 assists in 44 games with the New Jersey Devils this season.

The Czech Republic’s preliminary round showing left something to be desired and the team nearly coughed up a four-goal lead against Slovakia in the qualification round. On top of that, goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will have a very tough time holding his own against the Americans. At the same time, the Czechs have a considerable amount of NHL talent and plenty of Olympic experience to lean on, so they can’t be ruled out going into today’s match.

The quarterfinal match between the Czech Republic and United States will start at 12 p.m. ET and can be watched on the USA Network or watched online.

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