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Paul Martin out with hand injury, Justin Faulk to make Olympic debut

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If you're at home tallying injuries to NHL players while they compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, add another.

Yesterday it was announced that Canadian forward John Tavares would sit out for Friday's semifinal and whatever else is in store for Team Canada this weekend, today it's American defenseman Paul Martin who will miss this afternoons heated rivalry game against Canada.

According to reports this morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins blue liner suffered a hand injury in the USA's quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic and will be out indefinitely. Martin will be re-evaluated when he returns to Pittsburgh.

NBC Sports first announced that Martin fell ill, but Dejan Kovacevis and Rob Rossi have confirmed that Martin's hand is in a splint and may be put in a cast later in the day.

Whatever the reason, it's clear that Martin definitely won't play today, giving Justin Faulk an opportunity to get into a game for the first time at the Sochi games.

Faulk,21, will be making his Olympic debut in the biggest game for U.S. so far this tournament. In 57 games with the Carolina Hurricanes this season, the young defenseman has three goals and nineteen assists in his third-season in the National Hockey League. He will serve as the USA's seventh defenseman this afternoon with John Carlson slipping into Martin's spot on the back end, alongside Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik.

Game time between the U.S. and Canada is at noon (ET) today with the winner advancing to the gold medal game on Sunday. Earlier today Sweden defeated Finland to ensure their spot in Sunday's Sochi finale.


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