Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the Capitals’ second-round playoff exit. All three players are expected to meet with the Capitals’ coaching staff on Thursday before catching a flight to Russia, where they will represent their country in the 2016 IIHF World Championships.
Team Russia plays Denmark on Thursday and could have all three players in its lineup as early as Saturday against Switzerland.
This is nothing new for the Caps’ three Russians.
Ovechkin, 30, has played for Russia in the World Championships in 11 of the last 12 years, often departing for the tournament a day or two after the Capitals have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ovechkin has won three World Championship gold medals with Russia (2008, 2012 and 2014), recording 20 goals and 20 assists in 46 games.
Ovechkin recorded 50 goals and 21 assists in 79 games for the Caps this season and was voted a finalist for the Mark Messier leadership award, along with John Tavares of the Islanders and Shea Weber of the Predators.
Kuznetsov, 23, will be playing in his fourth World Championbships in five years. He won two gold medals and one silver medal in his previous appearances. He sat out last year’s tournament for the birth of his daughter.
Kuznetsov became the first player not names Ovechkin to lead the Capitals in scoring this season with 20 goals and 57 assists for 77 points. He manged just one goal and one assist in 12 playoff games.
Orlov, 24, will be making his second appearance in the Worlds. His only other appearance came two years ago when he suffered a badly fractured wrist that cost him all of last season in the NHL.
Orlov played in all 82 regular-season games for the Capitals this season, recording eight goals and 21 assists. He played in 11 of the Caps’ 12 playoff games.
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