Ryan Miller starts against Slovenia

Updated: February 16, 2014, 9:03 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

SOCHI, Russia -- The United States went back to a familiar face in goal for its final preliminary-round game against Slovenia on Sunday.

Ryan Miller, the defending Olympic MVP from the Vancouver Games four years ago, got his first start of the tournament after Jonathan Quick started the first two games, both of which the Americans won.

[+] EnlargeRyan Miller
AP Photo/Petr David JosekRyan Miller started Sunday for the U.S. for his first action in Sochi.

Quick was outstanding in Saturday's electric 3-2 win that came after an eight-round shootout. Jimmy Howard, the third goaltender for the first two games, will dress as Miller's backup against a Slovenian team coming off a huge 3-1 upset of Slovakia on Saturday, the team's first-ever Olympic win.

This is the first Olympic Games in which Slovenia has participated in the men's hockey tournament.

In other U.S. lineup news, Max Pacioretty will come out of the lineup and be replaced by Derek Stepan. It's likely that Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler will take Pacioretty's spot on the fourth line with Paul Stastny and Saturday's shootout hero T.J. Oshie.

It was announced prior to Sunday's game that Slovenia's Sabahudin Kovacevic had been handed a one-game suspension following a review by the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) disciplinary panel. He was suspended for an elbow to the head and neck area of Slovakia forward Tomas Kopecky during the second period of the Saturday's game between Slovenia and Slovakia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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