Alex Ovechkin to join Russia for World Championships

USA TODAY Sports

With the Capitals' season over, Alex Ovechkin will play for Russia at the worlds.

Alex Ovechkin will join Russia's team for the ice hockey world championships in Finland. Ovechkin missed the beginning of the worlds, but the Washington Capitals' elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday cleared the way for the star to join his country.

Ovechkin has played in the worlds eight times before and won the gold medal with Russia in 2008 and again last year. In his 55 games at the worlds, he has 26 goals and 18 assists.

The challenge for Ovechkin will be getting past a disappointing playoffs. After leading the NHL in scoring during the regular season, Ovechkin scored just once in the postseason as the Capitals bowed out in the first round after a 5-0 loss to the Rangers in Game 7.

Russia finished second in Group H to qualify for the quarterfinals, where they will play the United States on Thursday. The two teams also met in the group stage, where Russia defeated the U.S. 5-2. It is unclear when Ovechkin will join the Russian team, although the expectation is that he will make it in time for Thursday's quarterfinal.

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