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.”
- Stars win one night after Peverley collapse, give Miller first Blues loss 3
- Crosby, Pens continue recent dominance of Ovechkin, Caps 19
- Terry Trafford’s body found in Michigan on Tuesday 8
- PHT Extra: What happens if the Caps miss the playoffs? 17
- Wings can’t afford regulation loss to Jackets 6
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter 57
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 11
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 27
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 23
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 19
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (70)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (60)