Crosby, Ovechkin meeting hype
Early in what has become an epic, seven-game series, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was asked — for roughly the millionth time — about his rivalry with Washington Capitals' star Alex Ovechkin.
"There has been a buildup, and I'm sure this is entertaining," Crosby said. "But as a player, I still want to win."
So does Ovechkin, of course, and the series winner won't be decided until Wednesday night, thanks to Washington's 5-4 overtime victory Monday night at Mellon Arena.
Next up: Game 7, where legends are made.
Ovechkin sounds mighty confident.
"Right now, we feel more energy and (are) more excited than Pittsburgh," Ovechkin said, after teammate David Steckel scored the deciding goal on a deflection at 6:22 of overtime. "They knew it was going to be hard if they lost, to come back in our building, because the fans are going to be crazy over there. You know, we're going to be flying out there, too."
Crosby's typically more-reserved take: "This is a challenge, but if there's a group of guys who are capable, it's the guys in that locker room."
These two have been trading on-ice salvos since the opening minutes of Game 1. Somehow, the showdown within the showdown has lived up to its colossal hype.
Crosby and Ovechkin have combined for 13 goals and 23 points in a series sure to be remembered for its overflowing supply of intensity and skill.
And for whatever happens in Game 7, of course.
"They're incredible," said Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, when asked about Crosby and Ovechkin. "But I think (Penguins center Evgeni) Malkin is just as incredible. They play at a level that, boy, other people can't attain, because they're that much superior, I think.
"If I wasn't behind the bench, I'd sure enjoy watching 'em, and I think a lot of people will want to see Game 7."
Crosby set up the game's first goal, delivering a perfect feed to Bill Guerin on a 2-on-1 at 5:55 of the first period. Ovechkin made a similarly sweet pass to set up a Viktor Kozlov goal that tied it 6:27 into the second.
The show was just beginning.
Ovechkin added two more assists in the third, and Crosby batted his own rebound attempt out of midair to tie the score, 4-4, with 4:18 left in regulation, sending the sellout crowd of 17,132 into a tizzy.
Ovechkin nearly won it at 4:13 of overtime with a blast from the left circle, but goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury snagged a shot labeled for the far corner.
Crosby has six goals and four assists in the series. He also won a faceoff that led directly to the winning overtime goal in Game 3.
Ovechkin has seven goals and six assists. He also has doled out several crunching hits, including a controversial one that knocked Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar out of the past two-plus games.
In Game 2, Crosby and Ovechkin became the first opposing players to score hat tricks in a playoff game since 1996.
Penguins backup goaltender Mathieu Garon has a front-row seat for the duel. A veteran of 204 NHL games, Garon isn't easily impressed.
He is by these two.
"I don't think you can say one player's better than the other," Garon said. "They're way different. They're both unreal."
Game 7 should be, too.
May the best man, er, team, win.
Series stats for Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin:
PLAYER: G-A-PTS — +/- — Shots — Hits — PIM — W-L
Crosby: 6-4-10 — +3 — 29 — 7 — 2 — 3-3
Ovechkin: 7-6-13 — +6 — 38 — 23 — 6 — 3-3
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins hire Agnew as assistant
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- New general manager Rutherford, Penguins in favor of short-term deals
- Downie: Joining Penguins ‘made sense’
- New Penguins winger Spaling files for arbitration
- Penguins sign controversial Downie to bring an edge to squad
- Former Predators winger Hornqvist embraces recent trade to Penguins
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- Familiar Penguins faces say goodbye via free agency
- Penguins coach Johnston takes backseat during free agency
- At start of free agency, Penguins general manager changes plan