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Abdelkader named captain for USA

Forward is fourth Red Wing named captain of his national team in past three months

Friday, 05.9.2014 / 12:15 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Abdelkader named captain for USA


Abdelkader
DETROIT – According to USAHockey.com, Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader has been named captain of the U.S. national team that will compete in this month’s International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Minsk, Belarus.

The 27-year-old Abdelkader, who grew up in Muskegon, Mich., is the fourth Red Wings player to be named captain of his national team in the last two international men’s tournaments. Henrik Zetterberg (Sweden) and Pavel Datsyuk (Russia) were named team captains prior to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February. Niklas Kronwall replaced Zetterberg as Sweden’s captain when he pulled out of the tournament with lower back pain which required surgery.

Team USA opens the World Championship today against the host nation, Belarus, at 1:45 p.m. EDT. NBC Sports Network will televise the game live, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide live streaming coverage.

For Abdelkader, this will be his third international tournament with the Americans. He played in the 2012 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm, where he produced a goal and three assists. He also skated in the 2007 World Junior Championship, helping the U.S. earn bronze in Sweden.

“It’s a tremendous honor, really excited about leading this team and being captain,” Abdelkader told USAHockey.com. “We got a lot of good leaders in this room and a lot of good players. We’re a little young but I think we’re really hungry and we’re looking forward to the start of this tournament.”

Nashville forward Craig Smith will serve as an alternate captain, while the second alternate captain role will be shared between New York Islanders forward Colin McDonald and former NHL forward Tim Stapleton, who played the past two seasons in the KHL.

Abdelkader and Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser are among seven Michigan natives that make up the 25-man U.S. roster.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
4 TBL 50 28 18 4 131 115 60
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 49 25 17 7 126 122 57
10 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
11 CAR 52 23 21 8 124 138 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 53 20 28 5 133 167 45

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89