PrintPrint

Teammates even amazed by Ovechkin and Crosby

TSN.ca Staff

5/5/2009 7:37:32 PM

It was the kind of game where the superstars shone so brightly, even the other players in the game were impressed.
 
In the aftermath of Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby both scoring hat tricks in the Capitals' 4-3 Game 2 victory over the Penguins, the other skaters on the ice know that they witnessed something special on Monday night.

"I said before the series that you guys (the media) were putting too much stock in into the Crosby/Ovechkin thing, but after (Monday's) showdown you guys were right, you knew what you were talking about," mused Capitals forward Brooks Laich.
 
"It was amazing. Two of the star-power players in the league and each getting hat tricks in the same game - you couldn't have scripted it better," said Capitals forward Chris Clark.
 
The Capitals now have themselves a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, and Washington knows they owe a lot of their success to their star winger who scored 56 goals in the regular season.
 
"It's very fortunate that Alex was on top of his game last night because other than (David) Steckel, we didn't have too many scoring chances," said Capitals defenceman Mike Green. "But we're very fortunate that he had his superstar game last night too.

The superstars at the centre of attention seemed unmoved by their enormous games, preferring to remain focused on the task at hand.

"His focus is to try to win the series and so is mine," Crosby told reporters.  "We're trying to do what we can to help in that way.  It comes down to wins and it takes four, so they've got two.  No matter what we've done individually it doesn't matter,we're down 2-0."
 
Crosby has scored four of his team's five goals so far in the series, while Pittsburgh's regular season goal-scoring leader, Evgeni Malkin, has yet to find the back of the net in the series. In fact, Malkin is on a five-game goal-scoring drought going back to Pittsburgh's first round series win over the Philadelphia Flyers. And goals being scarce from the Art Ross Trophy winner has proven to be a big reason why the Penguins find themselves in a two-game hole in the series.
 
"We can't expect Geno to score every game, it's really a collective effort," Crosby told the Canadian Press on Tuesday. "It's up to us to do our part for sure, but I think he's working to get chances. The opportunities are there, but it's the playoffs and it's tight and there's going to be times where it's a little bit difficult."
 
Ovechkin said on Tuesday that the Capitals can't treat the coming games any differently, despite the fact that they have had a great deal of success shutting down Crosby's teammates over the first two games of the series.
 
"It's 0-0. We can't think like (the series is) 2-0, we can't think of it like we can afford to lose two games. It can't be like that - we have to win this game," said Ovechkin.
 
"These guys went to the Stanley Cup Final last year, so the one thing we know is that they believe, and they believe they can win," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "So every game is going to be like a war against these guys. I mean the minute we let up is the minute we're going to be in trouble."
 
With four goals apiece in the series so far, Crosby and Ovechkin has certainly captured the imagination of the hockey world in the first-ever meeting between the superstars in a post-season series.
 
"The hype of what's going with those two guys, and for them to rise above that hype is pretty incredible," said Boudreau. "I don't know where it's going to be, but I know in time right now people are talking about it, and maybe talking about until something else they do maybe (on Wednesday) night happens."

Ovechkin may have added a little trash-talk to the equation as he appeared to be chanting "Penguins suck" along with the Verizon Center faithful near the end of the game.  The Pens were not about to be drawn into a war of words with the Capitals superstar.

"This is the first I've heard about it and I don't have any thoughts about it,"  Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told reporters.  We're talking about controlling our team and what we're doing and I don't have any interest in getting involved in a situation where I'm trying to control the other team and their players."

If that was the team wide verdict, then not everyone got the memo.

"That's the way he is," Pens' forward Jordan Staal said of Ovechkin.  "Obviously he's an exciting player, but at the same time he wants to win.  When he does stuff like that he gives a little fuel for the fire of our team."

The question remains, can the Pens use that motivation to turn the series around on home ice?  If they cannot then the dream meeting will seem like a mini-series rather than the epic everyone was hoping for.