Slovenia prevailed over Austria in the qualifying round of play, and their reward is a matchup with top-seeded Sweden. While the Slovenes have been able to put together a magical run through the 2014 Winter Olympics to this point with wins over Austria and Slovakia, they might hit a wall in Sweden.
Even without Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Sedin, the Swedes still ice one of the strongest teams in the tournament. They can score with any line, and their offensive-minded defenders frequently activate as a fourth forward, giving Sweden a number of options in the offensive zone.
Erik Karlsson is the guy to watch for the Swedes. He’s been phenomenal so far and will look to continue his strong play in this winner-moves-0n, loser-goes home contest against Slovenia.
Anze Kopitar is the guy that could make a huge difference for the underdogs. While Sweden is fine without Zetterberg and Sedin, Patrik Berglund has become the team’s top center—he could struggle against Kopitar, and Slovenia will be in the rare posistion of having the best player out on the ice at any given position due to Sweden’s injury issues.
Will that be enough to allow the Slovenes to prevail? Tune in to find out. Here’s how.
Date: February 19
Start Time: 3:00 A.M. ET
Location: Sochi, Russia
TV Info: NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra