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Crosby, Pens continue recent dominance of Ovechkin, Caps

Mar 11, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

Whether you focus more on Sidney Crosby‘s successes or Alex Ovechkin‘s struggles in recent games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, there’s no mistaking the contrast in results.

The Penguins have now won eight games in a row against their rivals, no doubt prompting some to call for some quotation marks around “rivals.” That includes two victories for Pittsburgh in back-to-back nights as the Pens took a 2-0 win on Tuesday following a 3-2 triumph on Monday (each in regulation).

Two stars with very different results

The numbers are pretty jarringly in Crosby’s favor in these past two games in particular. The 26-year-old star factored into all three of Pittsburgh’s goals on Monday and scored the insurance marker tonight. In that two-game span, he collected two goals in two assists.

It’s much easier to summarize the Washington Capitals’ standings point takeaways and Ovechkin’s own point total through those two contests: zero. Fair or not, many will label that as the 28-year-old failing as usual along with his team.

Of course, that takes a lot away from guys not named Crosby and Ovechkin. Both Penguins goaltenders were excellent in this two-day span; Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 33 shots for his fifth shutout of the 2013-14 season (including 20 Capitals shots in the third period) while Jeff Zatkoff stole one for Pittsburgh in many ways last night, stopping 31 out of 33 shots.

With this, the Penguins cement their dominance over the Capitals and strengthen their playoff positioning in the East while Washington only faces greater questions about its future.

  1. mordock57 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Great up-tempo game from the Pens from the first puck drop. That first period was nearly non-stop action. Fleury continues to be very sharp and was supported by some terrific team backchecking all night long. Great two night effort from the Pens. Caps aren’t going to make the playoffs with that level of effort.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Non-stop indeed. After an early offsides, they went, by my math, 13:45 without a whistle! I don’t recall ever seeing a stretch that long.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Does anybody know if Ovechkin was in the 412/724 area code tonight? He’s non-existent yet again. Ovechkin having 3 Hart Trophies like Mario Lemieux is an absolute joke! Stempniak keeps looking better and better with Crosby. Pens played a pretty great game tonight. Now bring on the Flyers.

    • alexnewca - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      It’s funny how its always Ovechkin’s fault when the caps lose, but not their defense or secondary scoring (which actually has clicked the past few games, but other than that has been non-existent

  3. penguins87and71 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Penguins were pretty dominant tonight. They managed the puck well and played good defense. Fleury was fantastic tonight, he has been terrific as of late. This is the best I’ve seen him since 2009. Hopefully he can keep it up in the Playoffs.

  4. pdmjr - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    Caps are done, their schedule is brutal, golf early boys. Hope winter leaves soon

  5. lowenni - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    This really isn’t a rivalry anymore. The two teams have travelled down two different paths since 2010 and it’s clear who the better team is now. Also clear who wins the Crosby-Ovi debate. I don’t think I have to name the winner for either of those debates for people to know. This coming from a Caps fan. Our growing rivalry with Philly is much more exciting for me.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      No longer a rivalry? It may be one-sided these days, but the fact the Bruins sucked in the early 1960s didn’t erase their rivalry with the Habs. They ebb and flow.

      • penguins87and71 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        It’s not a rivalry anymore, its so lopsided it’s not even funny. There is no animosity anymore between these two teams.

      • stcrowe - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        The Habs-Bruins rivalry is a real one that has lasted decades. Pittsburgh-Washington was a passing one for a very short time when Crosby and Ovechkin were the exciting new faces of the NHL. That has faded into history, even if they are still elite players.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        Right Pen and Crowe, my point being that only time will tell if this rivalry, like many others that have ebbed and flowed, sometimes close, sometimes lopsided, will in a few years again be intensely close.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        i recall a few short seasons ago this “rivalry” was pretty lopsided in the other direction. before this 8 game stretch the caps won 7 in a row against the pens. while it doesnt look like that wil be happening any time soon again for the caps, as a pens fan i hate for fans to have such short memories about it.

    • c9castine - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:12 AM

      Be careful with philly they don’t always like to play hockey. The hate between Pittsburgh and Philly is so bad they can barely play a real hockey game. I see it’s getting that way with your two teams. The caps are going to lose that battle they have no muscle right now but at least they play real hockey against us.

  6. Stiller43 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Ovi played tonight? Thats strange

    • pens5829 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      I was at the game tonight the crowd didn’t even boo him until there was 3 minutes left in the first.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        Nah that was Steve Eminger in disguise.

  7. blomfeld - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:18 PM


    I agree with the above poster that there really isn’t a rivalry anymore … and in fairness to Ovechkin, I doubt if Crosby has a ‘rivalry’ with anyone in the league, such his supreme talent and ability. The closest rival we Kings could muster to Crosby would be the likes of Carter or Kopitar and they’re clearly not in the same class … not by any stretch of the imagination.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      But we all know that the shark almost had the last laugh Herr Blomfeld:

      • blomfeld - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:28 AM

        Au contraire my ‘fine feathered’ friend ! … did you see who ‘really’ got the last laugh in your excellent clip ? :)

        Executive Summary: Notwithstanding Crosby’s brilliance, there’s only ‘one’ team which knows how to ‘really’ deliver at the big dance …

        GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • m1k3g - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:34 AM

      Hey blom,
      Just curious about something and I’m hoping you could shed some light on it for the rest of us… Seeing those old batman clips, I see how poor the costumes and props are. I was thinking that obviously none of these people are working in Hollywood anymore. But then it occurred to me, someone with an equal level of craftsmanship had to have built that Chuck E Cheese-quality monstrosity that lives in the bowels of Staples Center.

      Is there a connection?

      • blomfeld - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Question: Is there a connection?

        Answer: There could be friend … and yet how can we say for sure ? :)

  8. slaugin - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Imagine what the Caps could get if they decided to move Ovi? What ever package they would get would make them dangerous for years to come if done right

    • blomfeld - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      that’s ‘exactly’ why they should do that asap ! …

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      The Flyers would throw everything but the kitchen sink just to get him.

      • c9castine - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:13 AM


      • patthehockeyfan - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:10 AM

        I think they’d include the kitchen sink.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      It worked for the Nordiques/Avalanche when they traded Eric Lindros for half the Flyers roster. Ovechkin could bring something similar.

  9. trueblue69 - Mar 12, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    Ovechkin Is going to pull a Kovalchuk and bolt to the KHL in the offseason.

  10. penvik - Mar 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    The Caps NEVER dominated the Penguins. They may have lost a string of games but this Caps and Pens rivalry has been active for a long time. In the Patrick division days (1974-1993) the Capitals and Penguins were in the same division and this is how the rivalry was born. The Capitals and Penguins have met eight different times in the post season. The series wins have gone heavily towards the Penguins. The Capitals gave up series leads in seven of eight of them. Perhaps the most GLARING fact of all is the Capitals have only beat the Penguins once in a playoff series at the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarter-finals. Twice (1992 and 2009) the Penguins knocked the Capitals out of the playoffs in route to Stanley Cup winning seasons. Their hatred for each other all started a long time ago, but recently it has been taken to another level with Ovi vs. Sid. We all know the numbers have been vastly in Crosby’s favour. He has a 21 point lead on Ovi for the scoring title.

    The sad thing is that the NHL has made a mockery of the Norris & Hart trophies, the history is ruined after Ovechkin and H. Sedin were given undeserved harts because of so called MVP of team (Crosby/Malkin downgraded because they play together is a joke. Actually Mario beat Gretzky by 30-35 points one season (all goals) the NHL still gave the hart to Wayne, I think that was late 80’s, that’s when the hart went out the window.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      yeah its not even close if you’re looking at playoffs but we can at least give bruce boudreau some credit for resurrecting it and making it interesting…

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