TEAM NORTH AMERICA VS. SWEDEN AT 1:00 PM MT - SPORTSNET
Sweden may not have Mikael Backlund in the lineup today when they face Johnny Gaudreau and Team North America in each team's final preliminary game at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Backlund played 10:24 in Sweden's 2-0 win over Finland on Tuesday but took a hard hit from Sami Lepisto. Swedish news outlet Sport Express has reported Backlund will not play in today's game and Patrik Berglund will slide into the lineup in his absence.
Backlund, added to the Swedish roster earlier this month after Henrik Zetterberg withdrew from the tournament with an injury, played in his country's first two preliminary games, centering Gabriel Landeskog and Carl Soderberg in both contests.
Sweden, who leads Group B with four points, needs one point to clinch a berth in the semi-finals. Team North America is tied with Russia with two points but Russia holds the tie-breaker as they defeated the under-23 squad 4-3 on Monday. If Team North America wins in any fashion today, it puts the Russians in a must-win situation in their final preliminary game on Thursday.
Team North America is currently 1-1-0 at the tournament while Sweden boasts a 2-0-0 record through their opening pair of games.
Gaudreau has been one of Team North America's top forwards in the tournament, scoring one goal and two points in the team's first two games. He is slated to play on a line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nathan MacKinnon this afternoon.
PROJECTED TEAM NORTH AMERICA LINEUP
Auston Matthews - Connor McDavid - Mark Scheifele
Johnny Gaudreau - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Nathan MacKinnon
Dylan Larkin - Sean Couturier - Vincent Trocheck
Brandon Saad - Jack Eichel - J.T. Miller
Ryan Murray - Seth Jones
Morgan Rielly - Colton Parayko
Shayne Gostisbehere - Jacob Trouba
PROJECTED SWEDEN LINEUP
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Loui Eriksson
Filip Forsberg - Nicklas Backstrom - Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin - Marcus Kruger - Jakob Silfverberg
Gabriel Landeskog - Patrik Berglund - Carl Soderberg
Mattias Ekholm - Erik Karlsson
Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson