Both teams won their first three games at the 2014 World Junior Championship, but both Russia and the USA also lost key matchups in the final game of the preliminary round, causing those countries to miss out on a less daunting start to the playoff round.
Instead, the two find themselves facing off against one another in what could be the most closely contested matchup of the four quarterfinal games. Neither team comes into the game with a major edge in any area of the game, but Team USA does have the added weight of having to defend their gold medal win at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia.
Hockey's Future writers Chapin Landvogt and Derek O'Brien took a break from their duties in Malmo to record preview podcasts of the four WJC quarterfinal games, with this one covering the USA-Russia matchup.
Right-click here to download this Hockey's Future Podcast.