Capitals’ Ovechkin and Orlov to compete in Paralympic sledge hockey game
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Dmitry Orlov are set to take to the ice on Thursday as Russia’s top NHL, KHL and Olympic stars take on the country’s Paralympic sledge hockey team.
The match will be part of a gala match, and Ovechkin is the ambassador for the event, par sports.ru. In addition to Ovechkin and Orlov, stars like Alexander Yakushev, Vladimir Myshkin and many others will play.
Ovechkin and Orlov will also play a charity match in Russia on Saturday, with proceeds going to the Artemi Panarin Foundation. The match supports 6-year-old Elisey Artamonov, who is undergoing a lot of neurorehab in Spain. Panarin will also play, as well as Alexander Radulov, Val Nichushkin and more notable professional hockey players.
Earlier in the offseason, the two participated in Alexander Semin’s farewell hockey game. Ovechkin scored a hat trick.
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Ovechkin and Orlov returned home this summer, while their compatriots Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alexander Alexeyev remained in the United States. Amid Ivan Fedotov’s detention and other concerns about NHL players in Russia, general manager Brian MacLellan doesn’t believe Ovechkin or Orlov will have trouble returning to training camp in September.
“I haven’t heard anything,” MacLellan said of potential problems leaving Russia. “As far as I know, there is no concern about their return to North America.”
Ovechkin is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. The 36-year-old scored 50 goals for the ninth time, a record. He also added 40 assists for his first 90-point campaign in over a decade. Orlov also had a career year, setting new personal highs of 12 goals and 35 points. He was also a plus-25.