COLOGNE, Germany – The U.S. and Latvia meet here today in the fifth of seven preliminary round games for both teams. Opening faceoff is set for 12:15 p.m. local time (6:15 a.m. ET) and the game can be seen live on NHL Network in the U.S. (live stream on NBC Sports app and on NBCSports.com).
Team USA has won its last three preliminary round games and enters play today tied for third place in Group A with Latvia. Both teams have nine points, one behind Sweden and two behind group-leading Russia.
The U.S. and Latvia will meet for the 13th time today in an all-time series that began in 1938. Team USA has won eight of the first 12 meetings, however, Latvia won the most recent game in the series by a 6-5 count on May 15, 2014, in the preliminary round in Minsk, Belarus.
Nick Schmaltz, who missed Wednesday’s game vs. Italy, practiced yesterday and is back in the lineup today. Schmaltz was blindsided by Gabriel Landeskog in the first minute of Monday’s game vs. Sweden and did not return.
Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei from the NHL’s New York Rangers, both who were named to Team USA on Thursday, arrive here this afternoon and could play in tomorrow’s game vs. Slovakia.
NOTES: Dylan Larkin is Team USA’s leading point-getter heading into play today with 0-7—7. Only three other players have more than seven points in the tournament. Larkin’s seven assists lead the world championship … Team USA is the visiting team today and will wear its white jerseys … The U.S. was the home team in each of its first four games and is the visiting team in its final three preliminary round contests … The U.S. allowed Italy just nine shots on goal in its 3-0 win on Wednesday. In only seven other games in the 81-year history of the world championship have fewer than nine shots on goal been allowed by a team.
|May 2||Italy (exh.)||W, 5-2||Agora Arena||Milan, Italy|
|May 5||Germany||L, 1-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 7||Denmark||W, 7-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 8||Sweden||W, 4-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 10||Italy||W, 3-0||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 13||Latvia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 14||Slovakia||W, 6-1||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 16||Russia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 18||Finland (quarterfinal)||L, 0-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|