Following Alex Ovechkin and the Russians' elimination from the Olympic hockey tournament Wednesday, four Washington Capitals remain in the hunt for a gold medal.
Two of them -- defenseman John Carlson and forward Martin Erat -- will face each other at noon in Sochi as the second-seeded United States and the seventh-seeded Czech Republic will attempt to guarantee a shot at a medal.
Erat has earned an Olympic medal before; in his first Olympic appearance in 2006, he played for the bronze medal-winning Czechs in Turin. Carlson is in the midst of his first Winter Games, but has international experience to fall back on; he scored the game-winning goal to lift the U.S. to a gold-medal victory in the 2010 World Junior Championships.
The winner of this game will face either Canada or Latvia in the semifinals on Friday.
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