Feb 3, 2013, 6:30 AM EDT
The National Hockey League lockout is a distant memory. Easy to forget when the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against the Washington Capitals Sunday – also the first meeting of this young season between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin
Crosby, 25, and Ovechkin, 27, emerged as the rookie stars everyone expected and hoped for following the 2004-05 lockout.
Long has the debate been which of the two superstars would you rather have on your team, and why?
Naturally, this ignited a rivalry between the two players which is always front and center when these two teams meet.
The Capitals have struggled under new head coach Adam Oates. They are just 2-5-1, and 14th in the Eastern Conference.
Perhaps this is the game the Capitals need to get back to their previous regular season form, which helped them collect four consecutive Southeast Division banners prior to 2012.
“Pittsburgh — you can’t help but get up for that game. It seems like the whole city gets excited when you play Pittsburgh,” Jason Chimera told the Washington Post. “If you don’t get up for these games there’s something wrong.”
The Capital that has struggled the most early on is the aforementioned Ovechkin.
He has just two goals and three points in eight games, while his fellow countryman and last year’s Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin is up to 10 points – the same as Crosby.
“He has pure goal-scoring ability, but his passing ability is also phenomenal,” Penguins forward James Neal told NHL.com.
“The ability to go around defenders and hit a guy [with a pass] that you don’t think he can see is something I found out pretty quick playing with him.”
- Happy now? Kessel dropped 13 lbs. this summer 15
- Rich Peverley retires from NHL, joins Stars’ front office 9
- Update: Multiple witnesses reportedly subpoenaed in Patrick Kane rape investigation 37
- Jonathan Toews talks about the Patrick Kane situation 28
- Voynov detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 26
- Ex-‘Hawks goalie Raanta tees off on former club 31
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls 119
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? 82
- Hall of Famer Al Arbour passes away 22
- Poll: Who will be San Jose’s next captain? 24
- Report: Hawks feel Kane ‘disrespected’ team, have received trade calls (119)
- Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane? (82)
- Report: Hawks’ Kane has not been asked to waive his no-move clause (49)
- Lucic jokes about running through Rask ‘like I did (to) another goalie’ (43)
- It’s Chicago Blackhawks day at PHT (41)