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SportsHockey

Previewing men's hockey playoff round

No. 8 Switzerland vs. No. 9 Belarus, 3 p.m.: The Swiss had the biggest near-upset among the have-nots, taking Canada to a shootout. Islanders defenseman Mark Streit and Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller are part of a dangerous Swiss team. For Belarus, Canadiens forward Sergei Kostitsyn and defenseman Ruslan Salei of the Avalanche are keys. The winner faces the top-seeded U.S. tomorrow.

No. 6 Canada vs. No. 11 Germany, 7:30 p.m.: The Canadians are going with Roberto Luongo in goal after Martin Brodeur's poor performance against the U.S. They should coast against a German team that was shut out twice in the preliminaries. The winner faces No. 3 Russia tomorrow.

No. 5 Czech Republic vs. No. 12 Latvia, 10 p.m.: The Czechs should have no trouble with winless Latvia, whom they already beat, 5-2, in the preliminary round. The winner faces No. 4 Finland tomorrow.

No. 7 Slovakia vs. No. 10 Norway, midnight: The Slovaks survived the "group of death" intact and get a chance to tune up on an inferior Norwegian team. Rangers star Marian Gaborik has only one goal in three games, but the Slovaks' defense and goaltending have shined. The winner faces No. 2 Sweden tomorrow.

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