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Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov to Represent Russia at 2016 IIHF World Championship

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov will represent Russia at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov is scheduled to join the team for Russia’s game on Saturday, May 14, against Switzerland in Moscow.

Ovechkin, 30, will be making his 12th World Championship appearance. The Moscow native has registered 59 points (32 goals, 27 assists) in 67 career games at the World Championship and captured a gold medal with Russia in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Ovechkin was named to the tournament’s Media All-Star Team in 2006 and 2008, won a silver medal in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2005 and 2007. Ovechkin has represented Russia in three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), 11 World Championships (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), three World Junior Championships (2003, 2004, 2005) and the World Cup of Hockey (2004).

Ovechkin scored 50 goals this season to capture his fourth consecutive and sixth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. The 6’3”, 239-pound left wing won the award previously in 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Ovechkin is the third player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season seven times (Mike Bossy: 9, Wayne Gretzky: 9). He is one of 14 players in NHL history to score 50 goals in three consecutive seasons (2007-10) and is the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in three consecutive seasons twice (2007-10, 2013-16). In addition, Ovechkin scored three goals on April 9 at St. Louis to reach the 50-goal plateau, becoming the first player to record a hat trick in the same game he scored his 50th goal of the season since Corey Perry on April 6, 2011. This marked the second time Ovechkin has reached the 50-goal plateau by recording a hat trick (3/3/08: 3g, 2a). Ovechkin led the NHL in goals, power-play goals (19) and shots (398) this season.

Kuznetsov, 23, will be making his fourth World Championship appearance. The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native has recorded nine points (four goals, five assists) in 23 games at the tournament and won a gold medal with Russia in 2012 and 2014. Kuznetsov has represented Russia at three World Championships (2012, 2013, 2014), two World Junior Championships (2011, 2012) and two World U18 Championships (2009, 2010).

Kuznetsov led the team in points this season (77), becoming the first player other than Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to lead the Capitals in points since 2003-04 (Robert Lang: 74). Kuznetsov also led the team in assists (57) and plus/minus (+27). He finished the season ranked second in the NHL in assists per 60 minutes (2.39), fourth in points per 60 minutes (3.24) and assists, tied for sixth in the League in plus/minus, tied for ninth in points and tied for 10th in overtime goals (2). In addition, Kuznetsov ranked tied for first in the League in three-assist games (4), third in multi-assist games (13), tied for fourth in three-point games (8) and tied for 12th in multi-point games (19). Kuznetsov (20g, 57a) is the seventh player in franchise history to register at least 20 goals and 57 assists in a season and the first since Alex Ovechkin (50g, 59a) and Nicklas Backstrom (33g, 68a) in 2009-10. In addition, Kuznetsov is the first player other than Ovechkin or Backstrom to post 20 goals and 57 assists in a season since Dale Hunter in 1992-93 (20g, 59a). The 6’3”, 192-pound center is the 10th player in franchise history and the seventh Russian born player in NHL history to record 57 or more assists in a season. He led the NHL in primary assists this season (43), marking the most primary assists in a season since 2011-12 (Evgeni Malkin: 46).

Orlov, 24, will represent Russia at the World Championship for the second time. Orlov won a gold medal and earned an assist in three games with Russia at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus. He has represented Russia at one World Championship (2014), two World Junior Championships (2010, 2011) and two World U18 Championships (2008, 2009). The Novokuznetsk, Russia, native won a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Championship and was named to the Media All-Star team. Orlov played in 82 games this season for the first time in his career after missing the 2014-15 season due to injury and set career highs in goals (8), assists (21), points (29), plus/minus (+8) and game-winning goals (3). He ranked tied for first among Capitals defensemen in goals and third in assists and points.

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