Alex Ovechkin will not join Russia for the remainder of the 2021 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia because of various injuries sustained during the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation announced through the International Ice Hockey Federation on Monday.
The Washington Capitals forward missed seven games during an eight-game stretch from April 24-May 8 because of a lower-body injury before returning to play in Washington’s final regular-season game and the Stanley Cup First Round against the Boston Bruins. The Capitals’ season ended with a 3-1 loss to the Bruins on Sunday in Game 5 of the best-of-7 series.
Ovechkin is in the final season of a 13-year, $124 million contract he signed Jan. 10, 2008, and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. The 35-year-old scored four points (two goals, two assists) in five games during the series against the Bruins, tying forward T.J. Oshie (one goal, three assists) for the Capitals lead.
Ovechkin led Washington with 24 goals in 45 regular-season games, but he missed an NHL career-high 11 games, including four while in NHL COVID-19 protocol from Jan. 20-29. Ovechkin is one behind Marcel Dionne for fifth in League history with 730 goals in 1,197 regular-season games in 16 NHL seasons.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation also announced that Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov and St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko will play at the World Championship after quarantining for six days and being tested daily for COVID-19.
Tarasenko’s NHL season also ended Sunday, when the Blues were eliminated with a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup First Round. Tarasenko scored two goals in four games in the series after scoring 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 24 regular-season games. He missed the first 24 games of the season recovering from surgery on his left shoulder Sept. 17.
Orlov had three assists in five games during the playoffs for Washington after scoring 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 51 regular-season games. Samsonov was 0-3 with a 2.99 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage in three games in the playoffs after going 13-4-1 with a 2.69 GAA, a .902 save percentage and two shutouts in 19 games (18 starts) during the regular season.