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It looks like the NHL has a new rivalry to promote: Ovechkin vs Malkin.
What a game.
Sabourin got the start in net thanks to his solid play the other night against the Habs. By the end of this game, it doesn't look like he'll be starting again anytime soon.
The Pens started off hoping to see some more scoring depth from the lesser knowns just called up, and the usual suspects who have just been on a cold streak. Max Talbot answered the call early to jab one in from the front of the net to start the scoring off 1-0.
The Caps answered back on two quick goals, one of which completely deked Sabu out of his pads. Caps up 2-1.
With just about three minutes remaining in the first, Malkin stepped up and sent one home to tie it at two before the second.
Now feast your eyes on this:
As the clock ticked off the final seconds of the first, Malkin controlled the puck next to Kolzig in the Caps end. Ovechkin came tearing down the ice in efforts to end the Penguins' hopes for a successful season. The rest, is here.
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So much for being Olympic roommates.
Both teams went into the dressing rooms fired up for the second.
Thanks to Ruutu taking an unsportsmanlike call at the end of the first, the Caps started off with an Ovechkin power play goal to take a quick 3-2 lead.
Shortly after, on the power play as well, Malkin uses a Caps defender as a screen and shoots one from about 12 feet out to tie the score at three. The Red Army was dominating this game on both sides of the puck.
On the power play again, Whitney cranked up what looked like a slapper from the point. The end result was a beautiful shot-pass right to a wide open Sykora at the front of the net to give the Pens a not so steady 4-3 lead.
A little over a minute later, Ovechkin lasers a power play one timer into the back of the net that would probably still be airborne if it weren't for the mesh.
Everyone smells a Russian hat trick. Who's it going to be? Malkin or Ovechkin...
In efforts to stop the latter, Therrien pulls Sabourin in favor of Conklin.
The second period ends tied at 4, as Conklin stopped goals 5 and 6 from crossing the line.
In the third Ryan Malone earns the A on his jersey, tallying a goal to go with his two assist night. The Pens lead 5-4, and with Conk in net it looks like they'll hold it.
Nope. On the power play in the last five minutes of the game, Kozlov gets his second of the game to tie it at 5 and send the game to OT.
In OT the Pens managed a 4-3 AND a 5-3 thanks to Caps penalties, but fails to convert on either attempt. The score still tied, it heads off to a shootout.
Shootout Christensen - Miss Kozlov - Save Letang - Miss (HITS THE CROSSBAR) Ovechkin - Goal (Fooled Conklin big time) Ruutu - Goal (The new reliable one?) Semin - Goal (GAME)
Wayyyy too many Penguin penalties in this one compared to previous performances. Both teams were no doubt spending plenty of time in the box, but the Pens capitalized (pun intended) just a bit more as they converted 3-8 with the man advantage. The Caps were 2-6 by the end of the night.
No doubt a tough loss, but the Pens still walk away with a point. Their record without Sid now stands at 1-0-1. The Devils and Flyers both play tonight, so one of them will be in first by one point before the night is done. Here's to hoping it's the Devils, the semi-lesser of two evils.
Next game is the much anticipated Pens vs Flyers in Philly, part IV in the Battle of PA series.
Flyers lead the series 3-0.
PS - Prior to the game I figured we'd see the Versus crew cut to Sid in the press box at least 4 times. They did it twice, but Yahoo! also had this picture in their game pics.