2014 Winter Olympics: Russia, USA, Canada Headline Men's Hockey Games Thursday

Bruce Bennett

Dallas Stars Jamie Benn is expected to play his first game in the Winter Olympics for Canada, with Kari Lehtonen serving as Tuuka Rask's backup for Finland and Valeri Nichushkin is expected to be healthy scratched in Russia's first game of the tournament.

It's here! It's here! Men's hockey finally gets under way today. The gold medal favorites of Team USA, Team Canada, Russia and Finland play tonight.

In case you missed it, or need to find it again as you remove the sleep from your eye, here are the matchups, times and channels each game will be broadcast on.

Team
Team Time Channel
Slovakia v USA 6:30 AM CST NBCSN
Slovenia v Russia 6:30 AM CST MSNBC
Austria v Finland 2:00 AM CST NBCSN
Norway v Canada 11:00 AM CST USA

Jamie Benn is expected to play his first game in the Winter Olympics, with Kari Lehtonen serving as Tuuka Rask's backup for Finland. In a change from what we had seen reported previously, it appears that Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin will be in the lineup for Russia's game versus Slovenia:

Here's my bold predictions for today's play:

USA defeats Slovakia 6-2
Russia defeats Slovenia 3-1
Finland beats Austria 5-0
Canada beats Norway 7-1

What's your bold prediction for the games today? Let's talk hockey.

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