Jaromir Jagr

Russia knocks off Sweden, will face U.S. Saturday in worlds semifinal

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Two goals by Evgeni Malkin and one by Vladimir Tarasenko helped Russia to a 5-3 victory over Sweden today at the world hockey championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The result sets up a semifinal between Russia and the United States on Saturday in Prague.

Russia is expected to have Alex Ovechkin in the lineup against the Americans, who defeated Switzerland today.

Canada, after hammering Belarus, will face the Czechs in the other semifinal on Saturday. The hosts got a late goal from Jaromir Jagr to help them defeat the Finns, 5-3, today.

The gold-medal game goes Sunday in Prague.

Russia is the defending gold-medal winner at the worlds. The United States was last crowned world champion in 1960, at the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.

PHT Morning Skate: IIHF reporter tries to put a Sabres shirt on Jack Eichel

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

As the consensus No. 2 pick at this June’s NHL Draft Jack Eichel is likely headed to the Buffalo Sabres. An IIHF reporter decided to see what the Boston University product would look like in some Sabres’ gear during a recent interview and things got a bit awkward. (Bar Down)

Devan Dubnyk, Andrew Hammond and Karri Ramo are among goaltenders set to become unrestricted free agents. Brian Costello sizes up this summer’s free agent goalie class. (The Hockey News)

During an off-day practice at the World Hockey Championship Jaromir Jagr’s teammate Jakub Klepis decided to wear a vintage Jagr Penguins’ jersey perhaps in the hopes to have the 42-year-old’s skill rub off. (Bar Down)

Henrik Lundqvist received the team’s broadway hat from captain Ryan McDonagh following Sunday’s Game 6 win.

Here’s a look at the goals of the week courtesy of Sportsnet:

End of an era in New Jersey as Shero replaces Lamoriello as GM

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The NHL’s longest-serving GM is done.

Lou Lamoriello, who’s been in charge in New Jersey since 1987, has relinquished his title as general manager to former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero.

“This is my decision with 100 percent support of ownership,” Lamoriello said on a conference call, adding that he would retain his role as president of hockey operations. “Ray is well-respected throughout the hockey industry and knows what it takes to win.

“His 22 seasons of NHL front-office experience will be beneficial to the New Jersey Devils organization. I look forward to working alongside Ray.”

Lamoriello, 72, steps away from his GM role after winning three Stanley Cups and leading the Devils to the playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012. The club has failed to make the postseason in each of the last three seasons, however, and Lamoriello has faced increasing criticism following several failed free agent acquisitions.

“Teams and personnel dictate changes,” Lamoriello said. “Ray might do things just a little different than I do.”

Shero, 52, has been out of work since being fired by Pittsburgh last summer. During his time with the Penguins, Shero captured one Stanley Cup (in 2009) in eight years on the job. He will immediately be tasked with hiring the club’s next head coach, as the Devils finished last season with Adam Oates and Scott Stevens behind the bench.

With this hire, Shero falls out of contention with the vacant Boston Bruins GM gig, which he was rumored to be shortlisted for.

“It’s a great situation for me,” Shero said during Wednesday’s call. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Shero has plenty of work ahead of him. Aside from the coaching search, he holds the sixth overall pick at this June’s draft, as well as No. 36 and 41 (the latter acquired in the Jaromir Jagr trade with Florida.) Shero will also need to work on new contracts for RFAs Stefan Matteau, Adam Larsson and Eric Gelinas, and decide what he wants to do with veteran UFAs (Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat, Steve Bernier, Jordin Tootoo, Scott Gomez, Bryce Salvador, Peter Harrold and Mark Fraser.)

Give the names on that list and the regime change from Lamoriello to Shero, the Devils could be a very different-looking team in 2015-16.

Note: Lamoriello went out of his way to thank Penguins CEO David Morehouse and the entire organization for their cooperation in the Shero hiring process, but noted there would be no compensation going to Pittsburgh. This offseasons is the first of the NHL’s re-instituted policy to award teams compensatory draft picks should their executives or coaches be hired by other teams.

Voracek to captain host Czech team at Worlds

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Flyers forward Jakub Voracek has netted himself a fairly big honor, as he’ll captain the Czech team at the upcoming World Hockey Championships in Prague.

This tournament is of great significance in Voracek’s native land. The Czech Republic hasn’t hosted the Worlds in 11 years — Prague and Ostrava shared duties in 2004 — and the country hasn’t medaled since capturing bronze in 2012.

To put even more significance on the “C,” do consider Voracek received the captaincy ahead of future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, who came out of international retirement to play for the Czechs in this tourney.

The sweater letter is well deserved. Voracek is coming off the best season of his seven-year NHL career with a career-high 81 points in 82 games, finishing tied with Alex Ovechkin for fourth in the league in scoring.

Jagr to play at World Championship

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Jaromir Jagr will play for the Czech Republic at next month’s World Hockey Championship.

It was nearly a year ago that Jagr announced his retirement from international competition.

The 43-year-old played in 77 NHL games this season with the New Jersey Devils and Flordia Panthers scoring 17 goals and 47 points.

Jagr signed a one-year extension with the Panthers two weeks ago.

Joining Jagr on the Czech national team will be Colorado Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda and Canes’ blue liner Michal Jordan.

Winnipeg Jets’ goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will also represent the Czech Republic at the tournament, which runs through May 17.