TORONTO — Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and forward Kyle Palmieri are the odd men out for the United States in its World Cup of Hockey opener against Team Europe.
Coach John Tortorella announced his lineup shortly before Saturday’s game, confirming also that goaltender Cory Schneider would not dress.
“It’s just the way it worked out,” Tortorella said. “Certainly (not that) Buff and Kyle didn’t do the things we were looking for them to do, but as we went through our lineup and the situations that we may get involved with: power play, penalty killing and all that, we felt this was our lineup to start the tournament.”
Scratching Byfuglien means the U.S. won’t have his big shot on the power play. The decision comes after the Winnipeg Jets All-Star played forward in the final exhibition game.
Tortorella said earlier in the week that Byfuglien better be a weapon on the power play. The staff instead decided to stick with the six defensemen who played against Finland.
Palmieri out means Justin Abdelkader will play against Europe. Tortorella says Abdelkader will be counted on to kill penalties and likes that the Detroit Red Wings forward brings grit around the net.
Palmieri was an injury replacement for Ryan Callahan.
Jonathan Quick starts in goal for the U.S., and Ben Bishop will back up. Jaroslav Halak starts for Europe with Philipp Grubauer backing up.