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Big day of hockey for Rangers stars

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


On the same day that their Blueshirts teammates return to the Madison Square Garden Training Center to resume practice, five Rangers players are in action today during the Olympic quarterfinals.

A busy day in Vancouver begins at 3 p.m. ET, when Rangers captain Chris Drury, alternate captain Ryan Callahan, and head coach John Tortorella will be part of the Team USA squad that faces off against Switzerland, a team that includes Rangers prospect Andres Ambuhl of the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and his red-hot Swedish teammates face off against Slovakia in the last of four quarterfinals tonight at midnight ET.
Drury and Callahan have been outstanding in their roles on the fourth line and as penalty killers, and Tortorella has been serving as an assistant coach for the upstart U.S. team that shocked Canada on Sunday and enters today's quarterfinal round as the No. 1 seed.

Today's USA game takes place on the 30th anniversary of the day that the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" squad beat Finland to win an improbable gold medal at Lake Placid, N.Y.

Should Team USA prevail today, the Americans would face the winner of tonight's game between Finland and the Czech Republic. The Finns, who have received strong play from Rangers forward Olli Jokinen, meet the Czechs at 10 p.m. ET.

Finland could receive a boost tonight if former Rangers star Jaromir Jagr doesn't play for the Czechs. Jagr, who is suffering from an upper-body injury, was able to play only six minutes of a 4-3 overtme victory against Lativa on Tuesday night.

In the other half of the bracket, tonight features a big showdown between the Rangers' biggest stars this season in forward Marian Gaborik of Slovakia and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of Sweden. the Slovakia-Sweden quarterfinal doesn't begin until midnight ET tonight, but it promises to be one of the quarterfinals' most exciting games.

Through two starts in Vancouver, Lundqvist has yet to allow a goal. Gaborik, meanwhile, has two goals in four games and leads the entire tournament with 25 shots on net.

The Slovaka-Sweden winner will face the winner of a 7:30 p.m. ET game between Russia and Canada -- a game many thought would be played for gold. Instead, because of the U.S. victory over Canada, at least one of these two teams will not win a medal at all after losing tonight.

Keep an eye on throughout the day to track the progress of Rangers in Vancouver, and follow today's USA-Switzerland game with live updates on Twitter.
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