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Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov summoned to join national team for IIHF World Championship

All three players previously won the IIHF World Championships
Dmitry Orlov, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov AP Photo/Alan Diaz
Dmitry Orlov, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov
© AP Photo/Alan Diaz

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. /TASS/. Three Russian players from NHL’s Washington Capitals, including club’s captain Alexander Ovechkin, have been summoned to join the national team for the 2019 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship, the press service of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF) reported on Thursday.

Reigning Stanley Cup holders Washington Capitals lost on Wednesday night 3-4 (in 2nd overtime) to Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the playoffs 1st round, ending their journey for another Stanley Cup.

Capital’s forward and captain Ovechkin and two other Russian players - forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and defender Dmitry Orlov, have been immediately invited to join the national team’s training camp for the upcoming World Championship next month.

Invitations to join the training camp of the national team for the upcoming world championship have been extended to other Russian NHL players, including Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilvesky (both from Tampa Bay Lightning), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburg Penguins), Ilya Kovalchuk (Los Angeles Kings), Bogdan Kiselevich (Winnipeg Jets), Nikita Zaitsev (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Nikita Gusev (Vegas Golden Knights).

Capital’s captain Ovechkin scored this season 89 points (51 goals, 38 assists). He was named the best scorer of the season surpassing the threshold of 50 goals for the eighth time and in terms of the most 50-goal seasons Ovechkin is now third in the history of the NHL after Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy (nine seasons each). The 33-year-old forward also booked 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) in the playoffs 1st round.

Kuznetsov, who has joined Washington Capitals in 2013, booked in the regular season 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists) and 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the playoffs. Orlov had 29 points (3 goals, 26 assists) in the season and 4 assists in the playoffs.

All three previously won the IIHF World Championships - Ovechkin in 2008, 2012, 2014; Kuznetsov in 2012, 2014; and Orlov in 2014.

2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia

The 2019 IIHF World Championship is hosted by Slovakia next month. The teams were divided into Groups A and B. Group A will be playing matches in Slovakia’s Kosice and includes hosts Slovakia, Canada, the United States, Finland, Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain.

Group B will be playing matches in Bratislava and enlists teams from Sweden, Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.

Slovakia offers two venues for hosting matches of the championship and they are the country’s capital of Bratislava and the country’s second largest city of Kosice. Each city will host 28 matches during the group stage as well as two quarterfinals.

The semifinals, the final and the match for the bronze will be played in Bratislava at the over 10,000-seat capacity Ondrej Nepela Arena.

Kosice, which has a population of 240,000, offers the over 8,300-seat capacity Steel Arena for matches of the annual international ice hockey world championship, which is scheduled for May 10-26, 2019.