Sunday, February 04, 2007

Penguins 2 - Capitals 0: "Crosbechkin" MIA

The Capitals/Penguins tilts are usually exciting and hyped for the Sidney/Ovechkin angle, but both stars failed to show up in a game that turned out to be an offenseless snorefest.

Ovechkin: 0 points, 3 Shots on goal, and -2
SIdney: 0 points and 2 Shots on goal

Thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury's fine netminding, and a goal from the suddenly kinda-warm Ronald Petrovicky, the Penguins pulled off another big victory. The playoffs are looking more like a real possibility with each win. It's nice to see the Penguins can win a game without relying so heavily on Crosby. Sid can't possibly score a point every single game, as awesome as he is.

Game recap from Yahoo! Spots:
Sidney Crosby's linescore had all zeroes, and that usually means a loss for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's strong play against Alexander Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals meant it didn't.

Scoring stars Crosby and Ovechkin were shut out in an unexpected defensive duel, with Pittsburgh's Ronald Petrovicky scoring the pivotal goal and Fleury making 30 saves as the Penguins won a season-high sixth in a row by beating Washington 2-0 Saturday.

The Penguins had been 0-30-1 when Crosby didn't score in his two-year NHL career, but Fleury turned in his second shutout in three games and fourth of the season. The No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft has stopped all but four of 106 shots in his last three games, and has a 10-1-2 record in his last 13 games.

"The guys were blocking shots and clearing rebounds and that's always a big help for me," said Fleury, who shut out Florida 3-0 Tuesday. "The team did a great job on him (Ovechkin), they were always close to him and he didn't get too many shots on net."

Ovechkin's 13-game scoring streak, the NHL's longest this season, and Crosby's eight-game run ended in a game that featured excellent penalty-killing and goaltending. Crosby leads the NHL with 82 points and Ovechkin went into the game with a league-high 33 goals.

Ovechkin was visibly agitated, apparently because he felt the Capitals played well enough to win but didn't in their third straight loss and eighth in 10 games.

"We lost the game, we had our chances but they have a great goalie," said Ovechkin, whose only three shots came in the third period. "We have to score and we didn't score. I was just very mad. I think it was a good game for us. We just lost."

Ovechkin had scored in every Capitals game this calendar year, getting eight goals and 12 assists in 13 games. He was last scoreless Dec. 30 against the Rangers. Crosby hadn't been shut out since Jan. 10 at Florida.

"It's not too often Sid doesn't get a point, but when he does, it's good that other players step up and take the game under control," said Jordan Staal, who scored an empty-net goal with 38 seconds remaining for his 17th. "That's what happened and it's a good feeling. He (Fleury) was amazing."
Aww, poor Ovechkin. It's OK to be second best, ya know.

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