Malkin, Tarasenko to play for Russia at Worlds

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Russia has significantly bolstered its lineup for the upcoming World Hockey Championships.

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin and Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko were both locked in to represent their country when the tourney gets underway in the Czech Republic on May 1:

These are pretty significant adds for a Russian team looking to win back-to-back gold medals for the first time since 2008 and ’09. The Russians captured last year’s tournament on the strength of three KHL-based players — Viktor Tihkonov, Danis Zaripov and Sergei Plotnikov — but will be loaded with NHL talent this year; in addition to Malkin and Tarasenko, Team Russia will also feature the likes of Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Khudobin, Nail Yakupov and, reportedly, Nikolai Kulemin.