SOCHI, RUSSIA - Goalie Carey Price will be in net and P.K. Subban and Martin St. Louis will be scratched when Canada plays Finland Sunday, coach Mike Babcock says.
The wheel of chemistry is also getting another spin from Babcock going into his team's final preliminary-round game.
Babcock pulled a bunch of new combinations out of his hat at the morning skate, elevating wingers Jamie Benn and Patrick Bergeron to play with captain Sidney Crosby.
Chris Kunitz, Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins teammate who had been on the superstar's left wing for the first two games, was dropped to the fourth line and was rotating with Patrick Sharp as the 13th and 14th forwards with centre John Tavares and Rick Nash.
The only line to remain intact from Friday’s 6-0 win over Austria is Matt Duchene with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Patrick Marleau skated with Jonathan Toews and Jeff Carter.
Babcock said he liked what he saw from Benn and Bergeron playing with Tavares and won’t hesitate to shake things up as Canada attempts to go 3-0 and have a shot at the top seed going into the elimination games.
“Benn, Bergeron and Tavares have been a great line. But the great thing about it is that I can put it back at any time. I’ve got those lines set up where the wingers and go back and forth seamlessly. Kunitz and Nash can go tonight with Crosby in a heartbeat. So we’ll see what happens," he said.
Babcock said the decision to start Price was pre-determined. He played against Norway in Canada’s opener and Luongo shut out the Austrians.
“We had a plan coming in and we haven’t changed our plan. I’ve said this many times, at the Olympic Games you’re allowed one change (in goaltending)," said Babcock.
Depending on how Sweden does and goal differential, Canada is in a position to get top spot in the standings with a win.
“It’s big. A tournament like this any time you can finish higher and get a little advantage on the opposition, we’re going to take it,” said Getzlaf. “It’s a big test for us tonight and we have to be prepared right off the hop.
“They’ve proven to be a fast-starting team in both games they’ve played so far and in the past. We know we have to be ready at puck drop.”