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United States unveils Olympic hockey team roster for 2018 Winter Games


United States unveils Olympic hockey team roster for 2018 Winter Games

Veteran winger Brian Gionta will serve as captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Winter Olympics, which will be the first without NHL players since 1994.

USA Hockey announced its roster Monday at the Winter Classic in New York. It includes college players Troy Terry from Denver, Jordan Greenway from Boston University, Will Borgen from St. Cloud State and Ryan Donato from Harvard.

"We really like our roster," general manager Jim Johannson said. "It's a group that brings versatility and experience and includes players who have a lot of passion about representing our country."

Without the ability to name NHL stars like Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Auston Matthews and Jonathan Quick, the U.S. roster is a mix of players from the NCAA ranks, European professional leagues and the American Hockey League. AHL star Chris Bourque and a handful of former NHL players now in Europe, including Mark Arcobello, Jim Slater, James Wisniewski and Bobby Sanguinetti, are expected to help Gionta on the leadership front.

"I think it's a great mix of young talent and veteran players with a lot of international experience," said Sanguinetti, who was a first-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006. "Excited to get together in a month."

Tony Granato, who played at the 1988 Olympics and now coaches at Wisconsin, will be behind the bench in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the U.S. seeks its first Olympic gold medal since the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" team. The U.S. lost the bronze medal game to Finland in 2014 and got the silver in Vancouver in 2010.

But this is an entirely different dynamic with the NHL choosing not to send players, as national federations couldn't pick any player with an active NHL contract. The initial U.S. roster includes the admittedly "semi-retired" Gionta, three players from the AHL in Bourque, Bobby Butler and John McCarthy, four from college and 15 currently playing in leagues across Europe.

Ryan Zapolski, who plays for Finnish-based Jokerit in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, is the only goaltender on the roster so far, with two more to be added later in January. Granato said after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup that Zapolski had the tools to be the Americans' starting goalie even though it was too early to name him as such.

Two-time defending gold-medal-winning Canada is expected to announce its roster on Jan. 11. Because NHL players aren't going, Gionta called the tournament "wide open," something Canada coach Willie Desjardins and others have said in recent months.

To that end, the U.S. roster is a blend of youth and experience that also takes into account the wider, international-sized ice that the tournament will be played on.

"We have a decent amount of players that are already used to playing in Europe on the big ice, which can be helpful," said defenseman Ryan Gunderson, who's currently playing in Sweden. "(We have) some younger, college guys, which I'm sure will bring a lot of skill and energy, then proven AHL players that can produce, as well. Gio, of course, has experienced the Olympics before and will lead the way."

Gionta, 38, put up 588 points in 1,006 regular-season games over 15 NHL seasons for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres. He played for the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics and has been practicing with the AHL's Rochester Americans to stay in shape for Pyeongchang.

The U.S. faces Slovenia in its Olympic opener on Feb. 14.

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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

USA Today Sports

Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been declared day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury, the Caps announced Saturday afternoon.

He will not play Sunday against the Flyers, marking the first time in four seasons that the durable 25-year-old center will have missed a game.

Kuznetsov, the Caps’ assists leader and first line pivot over the past week, was injured in the second period of Friday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. On the play, he slashed on the arm by New York defenseman Thomas Hickey before he tumbled awkwardly into the end boards.


Kuznetsov did not return to the contest.

The Caps did not practice on Saturday as they made their way to Philadelphia, where they'll look to extend their winning streak to five games.  

The team, per usual, did not elaborate about the extent or nature of Kuznetsov’s injury. But it does seem to be a good sign that he was not listed as week-to-week—the designation the Caps typically reserve for more severe injuries. And with a two point lead on Pittsburgh in the Metro Division standings—and a game in hand—they can actually afford to be cautious with one of their most important players.


The injury does, however, come at a time when Kuznetsov appeared to be hitting his stride. Including the two assists he had racked up prior to leaving Friday’s game, Kuzy has amassed five goals and 11 assists in 10 games.    

Without Kuznetsov on Sunday, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle will be the team’s most experienced centers. Travis Boyd and/or Chandler Stephenson figure to be deployed as the fourth pivot.

Coach Barry Trotz is expected to meet with reporters prior to Sunday’s game. It’s possible he’ll shed some more light on Kuznetsov’s outlook at that time.

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