Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin to Represent Russia and Nicklas Backstrom to Represent Sweden in 2012 IIHF World Championship
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have announced that captain Alex Ovechkin and forward Alexander Semin will represent Russia while center Nicklas Backstrom will represent Sweden at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden, which began on May 4 and runs through May 20. Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom will be available at Kettler Capitals Iceplex during the Capitals final media session on Monday, May 14, 2012 (1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)
Ovechkin, 26, led the Capitals in scoring during the 2011-12 season with 65 points (38 goals, 27 assists) in 78 games played. He finished the campaign ranked fifth in the NHL in goals and tied for the fifth-highest total in shots on goal (303). Ovechkin has scored the most goals (339) and points (679) in the NHL since the 2005-06 season. He scored his 30th goal of the season on March 18 in Chicago and became the ninth player in NHL history to score 30 or more goals in his first seven seasons in the league. The Caps captain also became just the third player in the league to have scored 30 or more goals in every season since 2005-06 (his rookie season). Ovechkin’s 339 goals in his first seven seasons are the seventh-most in NHL history and he was the only player in the league to score 30 or more goals (38) and also dish out 200 or more hits (215) in 2011-12. Ovechkin finished the postseason with nine points (five goals, four assists) in 14 games. His power-play goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals was the 30th playoff goal of his NHL career, coming in his 50th postseason game. He's the first NHL player to score at least 30 goals in his first 50 Stanley Cup playoff games since Joe Sakic reached the 50-game mark with 33 goals in May 1997.
The 6’3”, 230-pound Moscow native will be making his eighth appearance in the World Championship, having tallied 40 points (24 goals, 16 assists) in 52 games. Ovechkin helped Russia win the silver medal in 2010 in Germany and led his country to a gold medal during the 2008 tournament in Canada. Ovechkin has appeared in three World Junior Championships (2003, 2004, 2005), the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
Semin, 28, finished the 2011-12 season ranked second on the Capitals in points (54) and in goals (21). This past season marked the sixth-consecutive season in which Semin recorded 20 or more goals, and his fourth-straight season recording 50 or more points. He tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in 14 playoff games. This will be Semin’s sixth World Championship, having won gold in 2008, silver in 2010 and bronze in 2005. He has recorded 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 36 tournament games.
The 6’2”, 209-pound Krasnoyarsk native has also appeared in two World Junior Championships (2002 & 2004) as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Backstrom, 24, collected 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 42 games with Washington this season, finishing fifth on the Capitals in points and fourth in assists despite missing 40 games due to injury. He finished the postseason with eight points (two goals, six assists) in 14 games, including the game-winning goal, in double overtime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. Boston.
The 6’1”, 213-pound native of Gavle, Sweden, will be making his fourth appearance at the World Championships and has recorded 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 22 career tournament games. Backstrom has also appeared in three World Junior Championships (2005-2007) and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Russia’s next game will be on Monday, May 14, versus Italy while Sweden’s next matchup will be Tuesday, May 15, against Latvia.