Russia vs. Finland
Game time: 7:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. Sochi time
TV: NBCSN (USA), CBC (Canada)
Streaming: NBCOlympics.com (USA), Olympics.CBC.ca (Canada)
Now the competition starts to get difficult for Russia.
After easily taking out Norway, 4-0, in knockout play on Tuesday, the hosts take on Finland on Wednesday in what could be the best matchup of the quarterfinal round.
Playing on back-to-back days, Russia will be making a switch in net as Colorado's Semyon Varlamov will get the start while Sergei Bobrovsky will serve as the backup after shutting out Norway on Tuesday afternoon.
Varlamov, who is 1-1 in the tournament, has allowed just two goals and is coming off a shutout of his own in his last start against Slovakia.
Finland is coming into the game a little banged up down the middle having entered the tournament without Mikko Koivu and then losing youngster Aleksander Barkov not long after it started. So far it hasn't really slowed the Finns down offensively as they enter the game tied for the top spot with 15 goals, averaging five per game through the preliminary round. They've been a tough team thus far and after a slow start in the first period of their opener against Austria have been a pretty dominant team, badly outshooting and outscoring their opponents.
They've actually been the exact opposite of what you might expect from a Finnish team.
Usually, even if the Finns aren't able to score, they're always one of the hardest teams in the world to score against, playing a tight defensive game and boasting what might be the best collection of goaltenders in the world led by Boston's Tuukka Rask. But while the offense has been just fine in two of the three games, they enter the quarterfinals having given up seven goals while Rask has just an .873 save percentage. Even though he allowed just two goals against Canada in Finland's most recent game, they were both goals that he probably should have stopped.
It's going to be another tough test for Finland's defense and Rask on Wednesday against a Russian team that, on paper, should have one of the most potent offenses in the tournament led by Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin. So far the two haven't put up huge numbers, but they're capable of breaking out in a big way at any moment.
The star of Russia's win over Norway on Tuesday was Alexander Radulov, who is now among the tournament leaders in scoring with six points (three goals, three assists) in four games.