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Obama gives Ovechkin nod

MOSCOW -- We knew he was into basketball, but apparently President Obama keeps an eye on Washington Capitals hockey as well namely NHL MVP Alexander Ovechkin.

The Caps left wing made Mr. Obama's list of great Russian contributors to the world, along with scientists, cosmonauts and pioneers of literature such as Pushkin.

"As a resident of Washington, D.C., I continue to benefit from the contributions of Russians -- specifically, from Alexander Ovechkin. I'm very pleased to have him in Washington, D.C." Mr. Obama said, drawing a laugh from the graduating class at the New Economic School in Moscow on Tuesday.

Mr. Ovechkin, 23, earned his second Hart Trophy as league MVP this year, and took the Caps to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, losing to eventual winners the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mr. Ovechkin played for Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, and is expected to be with the team for the 2010 games as well. His mother was an Olympic Gold medal winner with Russia's basketball team.

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