for this game

Ovechkin shines for Capitals; Penguins lose Crosby

Jan 15, 2009 - 5:29 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The latest chapter of the Ovechkin-Malkin soap opera ended badly for Sidney Crosby.

All-Star Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and set up another and Tomas Fleischmann netted the game-winner and added an assist as the Washington Capitals snapped a season-high, three-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Viktor Kozlov, Alexander Semin and defenseman Jeff Schultz also tallied while Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists for Washington, which won its third consecutive game at Mellon Arena for the first time since capturing four straight from January 16-November 20, 1985.

"I think we play more aggressive against (Pittsburgh)," Ovechkin said. "Malkin and Crosby, they are great players, skilled guys."

Miroslav Satan recorded a goal and an assist and All-Star Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Ryan Whitney also scored for the Penguins, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

"I think, like everybody else, I'm trying to do every shift the best I can," Satan said. "Today, we gave them too many power-play opportunities and they were able to use it, and we got behind."

Pittsburgh also took a collective gasp when Crosby collided with Washington's David Steckel late in the third period and skated off the ice in pain. Although the captain does not think his condition is serious, his status for Friday's game against the Anaheim Ducks is unknown.

"I don't think its too bad; we'll see (Thursday)," Crosby said. "I haven't seen (the replay), but it felt pretty bad. Hopefully, all goes well."

Crosby registered two assists before leaving for the Penguins, but the All-Star dropped to 10-3-0 in head-to-head career matchups with Ovechkin and the rival Capitals.

If Crosby is to miss an extended period of time, it will be tough for the Penguins to rebound from their current tailspin, which has them looking up at the eighth and final playoff spot in the crowded Eastern Conference.

"We have to find a way to win hockey games," Pittsburgh's Petr Sykora said. "Right now, we have no time to wait - we have to do it now. Other teams are going ahead of us, and it's going to be tougher and tougher to catch them."

The Penguins were challenged defensively, and by the Capitals' most prolific scorer.

Ovechkin was checked by Malkin in the first period and claimed the hit was "cheap," encouraging his fellow Russian to "do it to my face" when the two meet again.

"I don't remember Malkin losing his cool, but I think that the focus of the game stayed on the game instead of on the individual," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When you focus on the game, usually good things happen to the individuals, but a lot of times it doesn't happen when it's the other way around. I thought they did a really good job just going about their business and playing really hard and having chances to score and showing the people that they're good players."

Amid all the high-profile scrums, Fleischmann snapped a 3-3 tie at 8:11 of the third period by diving toward the goal and poking the puck past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped Ovechkin's initial attempt but was unable to track the rebound.

"I'm happy we won today, that's the first thing," Fleischmann said. "I would trade the goals for winning every game."

Ovechkin added an insurance goal less than 3 1/2 minutes later by converting a pass from defenseman Mike Green, and Schultz secured the victory with a shorthanded empty-netter with 66 seconds remaining.

"It's just the Washington Capitals against the Penguins, that's how it is, and we didn't talk about it," Fleischmann said of the growing rivalry.

In the wake of the news of his dissolved friendship with Malkin, Ovechkin netted a power-play goal 1:48 into the third to give the Capitals a 3-2 edge.

"I saw (Backstrom), so I just took the puck and put the puck in front," Ovechkin said. "It's traffic, so you never know what's going to happen."

However, Whitney forged a tie 84 seconds later by firing a slap shot past netminder Jose Theodore from the left faceoff circle.

Malkin opened the scoring 5:45 into the first, recording his league-leading 67th point of the season with a man-advantage tally.

"I thought we had our best chances in the first period," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "But we weren't capable of capitalizing on them. We could have gotten a two- or three-goal lead. Theodore made some key saves at the right time.

"It was a tight game until we got to the third period, when they brought their game to the next level. We weren't able to keep up with their level after losing some players throughout the game."

After Kozlov pulled Washington even at 1-1 just 66 seconds into the middle session, Satan scored his 350th career goal less than eight minutes later. Semin put the Capitals ahead with 7:20 to go in the period with his 17th tally of the season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 2 4 6
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 18 (SIDNEY CROSBY, MIROSLAV SATAN)
    5:45
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM) 1:06
    PIT - MIROSLAV SATAN 13 (MAXIME TALBOT, TYLER KENNEDY) 8:23
    WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 17 (SERGEI F

    Jan 14 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 6
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - (SH) (EN) JEFF SCHULTZ 1 (BROOKS LAICH) 18:54

    Capitals 6, Penguins 3  3rd - 1:06Jan 14 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 5
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 29 (MIKE GREEN) 11:27

    Capitals 5, Penguins 3  3rd - 8:33Jan 14 9:52 PM
  • 20
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Capitals 4, Penguins 3  3rd - 11:49Jan 14 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 15 (ALEX OVECHKIN, NICKLAS
    BACKSTROM) 8:11

    Capitals 4, Penguins 3  3rd - 11:49Jan 14 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    PITTSBURGH 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - RYAN WHITNEY 1 (SIDNEY CROSBY, DUSTIN JEFFREY) 3:12

    Capitals 3, Penguins 3  3rd - 16:48Jan 14 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEX OVECHKIN 28 (BROOKS LAICH, NICKLAS BACKSTROM)
    1:48

    Capitals 3, Penguins 2  3rd - 18:12Jan 14 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 2 2
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 18 (SIDNEY CROSBY, MIROSLAV SATAN)
    5:45
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM) 1:06
    PIT - MIROSLAV SATAN 13 (MAXIME TALBOT, TYLER KENNEDY) 8:23
    WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN

    Jan 14 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 17 (SERGEI FEDOROV, TOMAS FLEISCHMANN)
    12:40

    Capitals 2, Penguins 2  2nd - 7:20Jan 14 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - MIROSLAV SATAN 13 (MAXIME TALBOT, TYLER KENNEDY) 8:23

    Capitals 1, Penguins 2  2nd - 11:37Jan 14 8:49 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 10 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM) 1:06

    Capitals 1, Penguins 1  2nd - 18:54Jan 14 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 18 (SIDNEY CROSBY, MIROSLAV SATAN)
    5:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 11
    PIT 11 11
    GOALIES: WAS - JOSE TH

    Jan 14 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - (PP) EVGENI MALKIN 18 (SIDNEY CROSBY, MIROSLAV SATAN)
    5:45

    Capitals 0, Penguins 1  1st - 14:15Jan 14 7:47 PM
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    Capitals vs. PenguinsJan 8 11:02 PM
  • 5
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