Alex Ovechkin to play for Russia in world championships

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Alex Ovechkin isn’t ready for tennis. He wants to keep playing hockey.

That’s why the Washington Capitals captain is heading to Helsinki on Tuesday night to join Russia at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. He could play Thursday in the quarterfinal round.

“I’m still wanna play,” Ovechkin said Tuesday. “I don’t wanna take [time] off and I don’t wanna go watch tennis right now. I wanna just play hockey and win.”

Ovechkin will likely spend much of his offseason with tennis star fiancee Maria Kirilenko.

Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in the Caps’ seven-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal loss to the New York Rangers. He was held to one shot on goal in Game 7 Monday night, as Washington lost 5-0.

Ovechkin got a call from the Russian national team Tuesday morning.

“They just call me and ask if I’m healthy and I’m ready to go,” the 27-year-old right wing said. “So, yeah, I’m ready to go.”

It’s a quick turnaround for Ovechkin, but he’s not concerned.

If I was not in game shape and I was probably two weeks off, of course it’s gonna be probably much harder to make a decision,” he said. “I’m in good shape. Mentally I think I’m ready.”

Physically, Ovechkin said he feels “good.” 

“Couple bruises but nothing major,” he said.

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