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5 to Watch: Vonn, Chen and a Classic Hockey Rivalry

Lindsey Vonn, Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon highlight another star-studded day in Pyeongchang.

Vonn, who hasn’t skied in the Olympics in eight years, makes her much-anticipated return in the Super-G. Chen and Rippon will try to cement medals for the U.S. in the men’s figure skating free skate. Plus, the U.S. hockey team faces an old nemesis: The Russians (even if they’re playing under a different flag).

Here are our 5 to Watch for the next 24 hours in Pyeongchang:

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United States alpine skier Lindsey Vonn attends her press conference at the Main Press Centre during previews ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Eight Years Later, Lindsey Vonn Is Back

Lindsey Vonn has been the face of Team USA for nearly a decade now, so it’s easy to forget that she hasn’t competed in an Olympic games in eight years, and has won just one gold medal. She hopes to change both of those Saturday (Friday night in the U.S.).

Vonn’s first race in Pyeongchang will be the Super-G. She won the bronze medal in the event at the Vancouver Games in 2010, but missed the Sochi Olympics due to a knee injury.

The downhill is Vonn’s best event, but she’s won 28 Super-G races in her career, including the 2009 world championship. In 2015, she returned from her knee injury and won the bronze medal at the world championships.

She plans to also enter the downhill and combined races in Pyeongchang.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who won the gold medal in the Giant Slalom earlier this week, will not compete in the Super G.

Watch live during NBC’s primetime coverage beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, or on digital platforms at 9 p.m. ET right here.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Ryan Donato (16) of the United States handles the puck against Juraj Valach (16) of Slovakia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game at Gangneung Hockey Centre on Feb. 16, 2018, in Gangneung, South Korea.

Cold War Battle: U.S. Men’s Hockey vs. the Russians

The U.S. men’s hockey team meets its old nemesis.

The U.S. and Russia have a rich history in Olympic hockey, dating back to 1980's Miracle on Ice, when America’s rag-tag team of college kids upset the mighty Russians and eventually won the gold. More recently, games between U.S. And Russia were marquee match-up featuring teams loaded with NHL players.

But the NHL is not participating in the Olympics, leaving both teams — but especially the Americans — a shell of what they could be.

The U.S. men’s team is made up mostly of college athletes, Americans playing professionally overseas and others playing in second-tier leagues. The Russian team is composed of players in the highly regarded Kontinental Hockey League.

And this time, the Russians are playing as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, because the Russian national team was banned from the Pyeongchang Olympics due to doping.

The U.S. enters the game with a 1-1 record after losing to Slovenia in the opening game, but beating Slovakia on Friday. The Russians lost to Slovakia in their opener, but trounced Slovenia 8-2 on Friday afternoon (morning in the U.S.).

Several members of the men's hockey team have New England ties, including Harvard junior Ryan Donato and Boston University junior Jordan Greenway.

Watch live on NBCSN at 7:10 a.m. Saturday or on digital platforms right here.

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USA's figure skater Nathan Chen addresses a press conference during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 15, 2018.

Chen Looks to Redeem Early Stumbles in Men’s Final

Nathan Chen fell in his Pyeongchang debut in team event. He took tumbles in the men’s short program, plummeting to 17th place. But now, in the free skate final, Chen seeks to erase his early issues with a strong finish to his Pyeongchang competition.

Can he find momentum after two sub-par starts? The pre-Games favorite and two-time national champion missed on all of his jumps Friday morning (Thursday night), falling three times.

Men’s single skating continues with the free skate Saturday (Friday night in the U.S.), following the men’s short program the night before. Chen’s shot at a medal is slim from 17th place, as the scores are a combination of both the short program and the free skate. He needs to top the reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan for the gold medal, who lead the short program with a dominating, Olympic record-breaking performance.

Chen’s less-heralded teammates finished ahead of him — Adam Rippon took seventh and Vincent Zhou finished 12th.

Watch live on NBC’s primetime coverage beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, or on digital platforms right here.

NBC Sports - Boston

Brookline Native Competes in Skeleton for Israel

Brookline native A.J. Edelman graduated from MIT and decided to pursue skeleton racing. He's competing for the Israeli Olympic team and is thought to be the first orthodox Jew at the Winter Games.

The 26-year-old was working for Oracle in Calfiornia after graduating from MIT, but he felt he wanted something more.

"I was kind of living the dream," he told NBC10 Boston's Brian Shactman. "I had a good degree, I had a good job lined up after college. (But) there was this pull on me to try to achieve something greater in sports that would have a meaningful impact."

Learn more about Edelman's Olympics journey right here.

Tough Day for Jacobellis

Lindsey Jacobellis, the most decorated women’s snowboard cross athlete ever, will finish her fourth Olympics just like the first three: without a gold medal.

Jacobellis, a five-time world champion, reached the finals of the event, then held onto a lead for the first two-thirds of the race. But she faded late, and finished in fourth place.

For Jacobellis, who was born in Connecticut and went to school in Vermont, it's just the latest moment in a disappointing Olympic career. It began 12 years ago, in Torino, when she seemed to have the gold medal wrapped up, with a huge lead down the race’s final stretch. But she tried a flashy move off a jump and fell, and settled for silver.

Since then, the Olympics have been her kryptonite. She crashed in early rounds in both 2008 and 2012, and failed to reach the final.

Meet the 2018 Winter Olympians From New England

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