Preview: Slovakia, Slovenia seek first win in Sochi
SLOVAKIA vs. SLOVENIA
When: Saturday, 12 a.m. PT (NBCSN, SNET)
Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome
What's at stake: Each team is looking for its first win in the tournament, and this is the best chance to get it and avoid finishing last in Group A.
Slovakia: The all-NHL line of Michal Handzus, Marian Hossa and Tomas Tatar created the only goal in a 7-1 loss to the United States in the opener Thursday. It was scored by Tatar, a Detroit Red Wings forward.
"It's bigger ice, so we had a little more room," Hossa, a Chicago Blackhawks forward, told the Chicago Tribune. "When we had the puck, I felt good. The line, I felt we had a couple of great ... scoring opportunities and I'm sure as the tournament goes on it's going to get more comfortable."
Slovenia: In its Olympic debut, Slovenia was within one goal of Russia early in the third period before losing 5-2 Thursday.
"We said in our locker room, 'We have nothing to lose,'" two-goal-scorer Ziga Jeglic said. "We played a little better and Russia was a little weaker. It's too bad in the end that we didn't surprise them."
Veteran goalie Robert Kristan made 30 saves.
What's next: Preliminary-round play ends Sunday. Slovakia meets Russia (7:30 a.m. ET, USA); Slovenia faces the United States (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN).