MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. A trio of Russian players from NHL’s Washington Capitals will join on Friday the national ice hockey team for matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia, team’s assistant coach Harijs Vitolins said on Thursday.
Washington Capitals’ forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Yevgeny Kuznetsov as well as defenseman Dmitry Orlov were called on Wednesday to join the national team after their club lost to Pittsburg Penguins in the sixth match of the NHL second playoff round (3:4 OT) and dropped out of the Stanley Cup tournament.
"The guys from Washington Capitals will be here tomorrow night," Vitolins told journalists. "We will have to take a look at their physical shape."
"We will see if they will be able to play against Sweden on May 16," Vitolins said. "Why not If they are healthy and in game mood?"
In 79 matches of the NHL regular season Ovechkin scored 71 points (50 goals and 21 assists). In 12 playoff games the Russian captain of the Washington Capitals scored recorded five goals and seven assists.
Kuznetsov played 82 regular season games scoring 77 points (20 goals, 57 assists), and in 12 playoff matches he has one goal and one assist.
Capitals’ defender Orlov has a record of 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists) in 82 regular season matches and had one assist in 11 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are held in the Russian capital of Moscow and in the country’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22. A total of 16 national teams, qualified to play in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, were divided into two groups. The 12,000-seat VTB Ice Palace in Moscow hosts the matches of Group A, which comprise the teams from Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
The 6,000-seat Yubileiny Arena hosts the matches of Group B teams, which are from Canada, Finland, the United States, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Germany and Hungary.
In the opening game the Russian hockey players lost to the Czech national team (0:3) and then beat the teams of Kazakhstan (6:4) and Latvia (4:0).