The United States, which plays Slovakia in its final preliminary round game at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, is already guaranteed a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals. A win Tuesday will allow them to avoid the home team.
The Americans (5-1) can earn first place in their group and set up a meeting with Switzerland in the quarters. If they lose to Slovakia, they’ll have to play the Czech Republic in Prague.
Jack Eichel enters the game with a goal and four points in his last four outings. He will again skate as the center for the Islanders’ Brock Nelson and Los Angeles’ Trevor Lewis.
In case you missed it Monday, Eichel was caught in an awkward interview with Olga Khmylev. She works for HarborCenter and is the daughter of Sabres scout Yuri Khmylev.
Slovakia (1-2 with two overtime wins and an OT loss) boasts former Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who is tied with Marian Gaborik for the team lead with three goals. Former Sabres forward Milan Bartovic is looking for his first point. Game notes are available through this tweet.