With a chance to win Group B and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament, the United States will take on the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
In the United States, the game starts Saturday morning at 7:10 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. If you don’t have cable or a cable log-in, you can watch a free live stream of NBCSN on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for a free trial of one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including NBCSN. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: NBCSN is included in each of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months. Once signed up, you can watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
FuboTV: NBCSN is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
Sling TV: NBCSN is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
In addition to being able to watch the NBCSN simulcast via the above streaming services, you can also watch the game–or any other game–live on your computer via NBCOlympics.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NBC Sports app. To watch this stream, you’ll have a 30-minute free preview before needing to sign in to your TV provider, but you can use your Hulu, DirecTV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV credentials to do that.
The United States’ tournament got off to a nightmarish start with a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovenia, but after a 2-1 victory against Slovakia, Tony Granato’s team is now in control of its own fate in Group B play. With a win and an overtime defeat, the Americans sit a point clear of both Slovakia and Russia, and two points ahead of Slovenia. That means a win against the Russians will secure the United States the group and lock them into a quarterfinal spot in the knockout stage.
That’s all great and wonderful for the Red, White and Blue, but it’s also a lot easier said than done.
The Russians also began the tournament with a surprising defeat, losing 3-2 to Slovakia, but they bounced back with an 8-2 thrashing of Slovenia and looked a lot like the team that was favored to win gold before play began. Minnesota Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov led the way with a hat trick, Ilya Kovalchuk pitched in with three points (two goals, one assist), and the Russians out-shot Slovenia, 34-15, in the dominant performance.
An outright win for the Russians won’t necessarily win them the group, though, as they also need a Slovakia loss or Slovakia overtime result against Slovenia. If the Americans lose, they’ll be forced to play in the qualification playoffs, which is essentially a play-in game for the quarterfinals.
So, while this isn’t a must-win game for either team, a defeat will make it much more difficult to reach the podium next week.