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O'Reilly, Eichel, Girgensons set for world championships

Ryan O’Reilly will try for a third straight gold medal at the world championships. For the second time, he’ll be wearing a letter.

Canada named O’Reilly as an alternate captain for its world championship team Thursday. The Buffalo Sabres forward, who also wore an “A” last year, will help Canadian captain Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.

“Our team is oozing with leadership, and a number of players could have worn a letter,” coach Jon Cooper of Tampa Bay said.

The world championships begin Friday and will run through May 21. Four members of the Sabres’ organization are playing, with a potential fifth also lacing up the skates.

Center Jack Eichel and goaltending prospect Cal Petersen will represent the United States. Eichel is skating on the first line, while Petersen is the third goalie behind Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.

Buffalo forward Zemgus Girgensons is playing for Latvia for the fourth spring. Former Sabres goaltender Jacques Cloutier is a Latvian assistant coach under Bob Hartley.

Russia will again use the services of Viktor Antipin. The defenseman is expected to sign with the Sabres after the tournament, which will be held in Paris and Cologne, Germany.

All U.S. games will be televised. The Americans face Germany on Friday (2:15 p.m., NHL Network), Denmark on Sunday (10:15 a.m., NHL Network), Sweden on Monday (2:15 p.m., NHL Network), Italy on Wednesday (10:15 a.m., NBCSN), Latvia on May 13 (6:15 a.m., NHL Network), Slovakia on May 14 (10:15 a.m., NHL Network) and Russia on May 16 (10:15 a.m., NBCSN).

The quarterfinals will be May 18, followed by the semifinals May 20 and the gold- and bronze-medal games May 21.

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