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Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Qualification round gets under way

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight's slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

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AP

Create-a-Caption: "A hockey fan cheers for Finland before a men's ice hockey game against Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics."

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Austria vs. Slovenia, 3 a.m. EST

Norway vs. Russia, 7:30 a.m. EST

Switzerland vs Latvia, 12 p.m. EST

Slovakia vs. Czech Republic, 12 p.m. EST

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Wikipedia

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Five things to know about today's Olympic games ...

1. Vladimir Putin sympathizes with referees. Asked about the no-goal controversy from the U.S.-Russia game on Saturday, the Russian president said, "Even referees sometimes makes mistakes, here I wouldn't tar anybody with any brush, but I thought that we would win by a big margin."

2. Anze Kopitar returns for Slovenia. After missing the third period of their game against the U.S. with a stomach bug, Kopitar said Monday he was feeling better and he will be in the lineup against Austria.

3. Michael Grabner hoping confidence travels with him to Long Island. Entering the elimination phase, no player has no goals than Grabner, who tallied five during group play. He has 9 in 56 games with the Islanders. "It's nice to get some here, and maybe get the confidence when I go back," he said.

4. Which Slovakia will we see?. The Slovaks played a more defensive-minded game against Russia on Sunday and with Jan Laco playing a great game, they came close to the upset. Will they be able to find that defensive success again? Laco is reportedly starting yet again.

5. Will Latvia get Swiss scoring going?. The scoresheet shows "2 goals for, 1 against" for Switzerland after the group stage. With a potential date with Canada looming in the quarterfinals, their offense needs to come alive at some point. Jonas Hiller has been the best goaltender in the tournament, but he could use a little help as well if they're to finish with a medal.

Bold prediction: Slovenia, Russia, Switzerland and Slovakia advance to the quarterfinals.

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