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Hockey Star Ovechkin To Join Russia At World Championship

Alex Ovechkin, the star forward for the Washington Capitals ice hockey team, will help Russia play the United States in the semifinals of the world championship games in Prague on May 16.

Ovechkin's U.S. team was knocked out of the playoffs of the North American National Hockey League (NHL) by the New York Rangers on May 13, freeing Ovechkin to travel to Europe.

Ovechkin, 29, has helped Russia win three world championship titles, including last year in Minsk, Belarus.

Russia was defeated by the U.S. and Finland in the group stage this year, and Ovechkin could make a difference.

He was the top goal scorer in the NHL this past season.

"His presence will boost confidence in the team," said Alexei Zhamnov, the head of the Russian team's selection service.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS