Zach Stepan will return to the lineup and Anthony Stolarz will earn his first start in goal when the United States National Junior Team faces Germany in preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.
The United States enters Sunday's game in first place in the Group A pool with six points. A matchup against rival Canada looms on Tuesday at the Isstadion at 11:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).
Stepan (Nashville Predators), who missed Saturday's victory against Slovakia with a lower body injury, will return to the lineup against Germany and will likely begin the game alongside center Nicolas Kerdiles (Anaheim Ducks) and right wing Riley Barber (Washington Capitals). Daniel O'Regan (San Jose Sharks) will not play against Germany and is listed day-to-day.
Stolarz (Philadelphia Flyers) will make his first start in the tournament after serving as backup to Jon Gillies (Calgary Flames) in the previous two games. Gillies, the probable starter against Canada on Tuesday in the final game before the medal round begins on Thursday, is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
The United States leads the all-time series against Germany at the WJC, winning eight games and losing once in overtime in nine meetings. The Americans scored an 8-0 win against Germany in the preliminary round of the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia, and has won three straight. Germany last defeated the United States in 2006, a 2-1 overtime victory.
Here are the probable line combinations for both countries:
Zach Stepan - Nicolas Kerdiles - Riley Barber
Adam Erne - Jack Eichel - Ryan Hartman
Stefan Matteau - Andrew Copp - Hudson Fasching
Thomas DiPauli - Vincent Hinostroza - Quentin Shore
Ian McCoshen - Matthew Grzelcyk
Brady Skjei - Connor Carrick
Will Butcher - Steve Santini
Dominik Kahun - Leon Draisaitl - Parker Tuomie
Frederik Tiffels - Markus Eisenschmid - Lukas Laub
Vladislav Filin - Maximilian Kammerer - Sven Ziegler
Jari Neugebauer - Patrick Klopper
Tim Bender - Dominik Tiffels
Dorian Saeftel - Janik Moser
Thomas Botzenhardt - Fabio Wagner