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Capitals' Ovechkin possible for Worlds

Washington captain, Kuznetsov, Orlov will meet with Russian coach to discuss participation

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

Washington Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov, will discuss with Russia national team coach Oleg Znarok over the next two days the possibility of participating in the 2016 IIHF World Championship in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. 

The Capitals were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Pittsburgh won the best-of-7 series 4-2.

Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov will be in Washington when the Capitals hold their final media availability session of the season Thursday, according to CSN MidAtlantic.com.

"We have sent a call to the Capitals for Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov," Znarok told Sergey Demidov of NHL.com/ru. "We have not talked to them yet. [Wednesday or Thursday] they'll have a team meeting, then they will go [through] all necessary procedures and after that we will know if they will come."

Ovechkin led Russia to gold medal-winning performances at the World Championship in Canada in 2008, Finland in 2012 and Belarus in 2014, and could represent his country for the 12th time this year. He also won two silver medals (2010, 2015) and two bronze medals (2005, 2007). Ovechkin had 50 goals and 71 points in 79 games for the Capitals this season. He had five goals and 12 points in 12 games in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Kuznetsov would appear in his fourth World Championship for Russia. He won a gold medal in Minsk in 2014 and Helsinki in 2012. The 23-year-old had 20 goals and 77 points in 82 games for the Capitals in the regular season, and one goal and two points in 12 playoff games.

Orlov could play in his second World Championship after winning gold in 2014. He scored eight goals and 29 points in 82 games this season after missing all of 2014-15 with a wrist injury. Orlov had one assist in 11 playoff games.

Znarok said the New York Islanders did not allow left wing Nikolay Kulemin to play at the World Championship.

"His ankle is injured," Znarok said of Kulemin. "He has two more years of a contract, so they didn't let him to go."

Russia is currently second in Group A with six points, two points behind the Czech Republic, at the World Championship, and will play Denmark on Thursday and Switzerland on Saturday.

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