for this game

Fleury steals show in Crosby-Ovechkin showdown

Feb 3, 2007 - 11:26 PM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Saturday's matchup at Mellon Arena was supposed to feature Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. But it was Marc-Andre Fleury who took center stage.

With the offensive showdown between two of the NHL's brightest young stars never materializing, Fleury went out and put on a show of his own as the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Crosby entered the game leading the league in assists (57) and points (82), but he had his eight-game points streak snapped as he managed only two shots on goal.

"It's not too often Sid doesn't get a point in a game, but when he does, it's good that other players step up and take the game under control," Penguins rookie Jordan Staal said. "That's what we did tonight. It's a good feeling."

"I think both hockey clubs spent some time trying to shut down the young players and just did a good job defensively," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "Instead of being a 6-5, one-goal game, it was a 1-0, one-goal game."

Ovechkin did not take a shot until the third period and finished with a total of three. The performance certainly was not typical for the reigning Calder Trophy winner, who had his points streak ended at 13 games.

"We played really well. We played great defensively," Ovechkin said. "The line of Crosby, (Mark) Recchi and (Ryan) Malone did not have any chances. We played well defensively, we played well offensively, but we didn't score. I know when we have a good performance, we play our system. It's just that sometimes we don't have luck."

While Crosby and Ovechkin struggled to find a rhythm, Fleury had little problem doing so. The 2003 first overall pick made 17 saves over the first two periods and stopped all 13 shots he faced in the final session for his fourth shutout of the season and sixth career.

"The defense was great," Fleury said. "They were blocking shots, taking away rebounds. That was a big help to me. ... They helped me out a lot, cleared rebounds, blocked shots. And that's why I had a good game."

Ronald Petrovicky gave Fleury all the support he needed with an unassisted goal midway through the second period. From deep in his own zone, Petrovicky skated up the right wing and beat goaltender Olaf Kolzig to the stick side with a wrist shot at 10:09 for his second tally.

Staal sealed the win with an empty-netter with 37 seconds to play. Fellow rookie Evgeni Malkin set up the goal, digging the puck out of the corner after the Capitals dumped it in and feeding Staal, who netted his 17th of the season.

The Penguins entered the game with Washington second in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh has not qualified for the postseason since 2000-01, when it advanced to the conference finals.

Staal believes the Penguins will have to pass several similar tests if they hope to qualify for the postseason.

"Every game's so tight now. You'll start to see more tight-checking games this time of year," Staal said. "This was the perfect example. You didn't get a lot out of Crosby or Ovechkin, but other guys stepped up, and that's what good teams do."








  • ------------------------------------
    Washington
    0 0 0 --0
    Pittsburgh 0 1 1 --2
    ------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: M Eaton, Pit (hooking), 4:41; C Clark, Was
    (hooking), 8:00; J Staal, Pit (tripping), 11:46; S Eminger, Was
    (hooking), 16:18.

    SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Pittsburgh, Ronald Petrovicky 2
    (Unassisted), 10:09. Pena

    Feb 3 3:29 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - (EN) JORDAN STAAL 17 (EVGENI MALKIN) 19:22

    Feb 3 3:26 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - (EN) JORDAN STAAL 17 (EVGENI MALKIN) 19:22

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 3 3:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: PIT - RONALD PETROVICKY 2 (UNASSISTED) 10:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 9 8 17
    PIT 7 8 15
    GOALIES: NONE

    Feb 3 2:34 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: PIT - RONALD PETROVICKY 2 (UNASSISTED) 10:09

    Capitals vs. PenguinsFeb 3 2:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 9 9
    PIT 7 7
    GOALIES: NONE

    Feb 3 1:43 PM