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Caps 6, Pens 3

Another big performance from Alex Ovechkin on a night when anything less than a big performance from the MVP might not have been enough.

Ovechkin finished with two goals and a primary assist - all in the third period - to lead the Capitals to a 6-3 win over the Penguins. The outburst ended a four-game goal drought for Ovechkin and halted the Capitals' season-long three-game losing streak in style before a sell out crowd at Mellon Arena.

I'm going be kind of brief tonight. Got another 6 a.m. flight and I've got the flu/a cold/something that's giving me the chills and a fever.

*This game received plenty hype in the press. There was Ovechkin vs. Crosby, Ovechkin vs. Malkin and Crosby vs. Semin. For me, it didn't really live up to the hype in that respect.

Sure Malkin was whistled for interfering with Ovechkin in the first period - the Penguins' star elbowed his countryman in the back of the head - and Ovechkin got into a shouting match with Crosby as the teams skated to their benches at the start of the third period. But it seemed to me the Capitals were focused on beating the Penguins, not settling personal scores.

Coach Bruce Boudreau agreed.

"I thought [Ovechkin and Semin] did a really good job of just going about their business and playing really hard," he said.

*Ovechkin, who was named the No. 1 star of the game (which of course elicited a loud chorus of boos) took exception to Malkin's elbow from behind, saying afterward, "I didn't see him. It was kind of a cheap play. Hit me in the face."

*Ovechkin hit double digits in shots tonight (10). But he didn't lead the game. That distinction goes to Malkin, who had 12. Don't see that often.

*The win was the Capitals' third straight in Pittsburgh, their longest streak here since winning four in a row in 1985.

*The Caps also improved to 17-0-1 in games in which Ovechkin records multiple goals.

*Sidney Crosby notched a pair of assists, but he did not finish the game because of what's believed to be a leg injury. There was no immediate word about the severity or nature of the injury.

*Crosby also won 18 of 24 faceoffs to help the Pens win a total of 58 percent of the draws in the game.

*The power play went 2 for 6, netting its first multi-goal game in eight contests. Boudreau said he sees progress.

"We did what we wanted - we shot the puck and got rebounds," Boudreau said. "We wanted a dirty goal. We didn't get the dirty goal, but we sure did shoot the puck. Look at last night's game - we had two shots all night on the power play. When we are succeeding, we're shooting the puck."

*After being merely adequate in the first two periods, Jose Theodore was outstanding in the final minutes after accidentally batting the puck out of play for a delay of game penalty.

"He stopped the puck with authority after he took the penalty," Boudreau said. "He took the penalty and it was like, 'Oh my god'. Then he started to bear down. The focus was there."

That's it from me tonight. I've got to go find some cough medicine. I'll check in from KCI in the morning, assuming there's practice and my flight leaves on time. It's supposed to snow pretty hard later.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 15, 2009; 12:02 AM ET
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Thanks for the update. Feel better.

Posted by: uncatim | January 15, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Feel better, Tarik!

Capt_Kirk_in_AZ, Yeah, it was me. I'll try. I don't have Photoshop anymore so I'll have to use Paint. Unfortunately, I've got stuff I've got to be working on right now, but I'll put it on my to-do list. It'll be done before the end of the season for sure.
_stevo, How can you not like Schultz? Just look at his goofy mug and try not to laugh. He's completely lovable.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Hope you don't get the pneumonia that that cold/flu has been turning into. I know a couple people that got hit with that here lately.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | January 15, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Tarik. Hope ya feel better.

In the meantime, everyone should check out the rvaing lunatics and their comments here

Pretty funny stuff.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Good work Tarik, take care of yourself and get better.

Posted by: Catalyst_9 | January 15, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Now that you've had your fix, can you go to bed? ;-) Trust me, I feel your pain!

Thanks for the update. Feel better - Unfortunately I feel your pain, too! :-/


Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Tarik!

You feel better, and let Katie cover tomorrow if you're sick, 'cause if you pass that bug along to our boys in red, someone's gonna be mad! ;-) In all seriousness, feel better, OK?

That. Was a really. Good. Game!!! And all y'all nit-pickers? Save it, OK? Let's let the boys bask in this one a little... :)

And as much as I dislike Crosby, I do hope (as one person to another, and for this purpose alone disregarding the fact he is the Hated Player(tm) playing for the Hated Team(tm)) his injury, whatever it is, isn't too serious.

Ditto to Scuderi for that puck to the face and Talbot for whatever it is. SO glad we got out unscathed!!!

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Had to be Montreal, Tarik. It was so freaking cold up there, I came home with a nasty cold in much the same condition you are describing. Here's to feeling better very soon!

Posted by: JBrooke4 | January 15, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

oh and in reference to pensblog, by "funny stuff" I meant "incredibly pathetic".

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I think Theo did fine tonight, 26 saves on 29 shots isn't a bad night's work considering the goals themselves. It would've taken something exceptional to stop Malkin or Whitney's goals, and Satan's basically pin-balled perfectly onto his stick for an empty net stash. Schultz has been doing fine since he got back, the only thing he really lacks is any kind of quick first step but he's been solid on the boards and is always sharp with his angles and reverses getting the puck out of our zone.

Big night offensively from the guys you expect to see contribute. Ovie (2), Semin, Flash, Kozlov (7th guy with 10 or more goals for us), and 3 helpers from Backie. We definitely had plenty of PP time and as many good bounces as bad ones for once, but it's a good step on the road to end the losing streak.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | January 15, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

If you want to know why people around the league question Crosby's manhood (other than the fact that he lives in Lemieux's basement) pull up the On Demand version of tonight's game, and fast forward all the way to the penalty on Backstrom late in the third period.

After the face-off against Backstrom, Crosby circled back around toward him, then gracefully dove onto the ice. Two minutes for Backstrom, who was just standing there during Sid the Kid's performance.

Thank goodness the Post-Gazette blogger has seen the light, declaring Ovechkin the world's best player in his wrap-up tonight. Not that there was any debate.. By the way this guy's live blog of Penguins games is always fun to read.


Posted by: TheRealOneal | January 15, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse


Who cares what they're saying...What matters the most is that the Caps took care of business tonight.

Posted by: RITdude | January 15, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse


I just read some of the comments that are coming from the pens fans and I've got to say, they are truly classless and i'm not just saying this because they are pens fans, my best friend is a die-hard penguins fan and even he admits that their team had a breakdown in the third period.

what irks me even more is all the calls, for Ovie (and co.) to get injured. I've always thought that those who wish injuries on any player in the game are not true fans of hockey.

Posted by: jogabonito | January 15, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@RITdude - haha I didn't mean to imply that I "care" what they so, so much as its amusing to see the results of what happens when monkeys and keyboards meet.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@SombreroGuy - What a load of haters up there. Jeez! I didn't read all of it, but the Pens fans are a real classy bunch... NOT!

Posted by: irockthered | January 15, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

SombreroGuy - I'm with you.. I enjoy reading the Pensblog lunatics as well.


Posted by: TheRealOneal | January 15, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Sombrero cares, I think he is amused.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Oops - guess I am too slow ... at least I was right!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow ... they open with Semin's quotation, then they have a pic of Ovie and Malkin boxing (literally), THEN they even go after Mike Wise? Geez, the lady doth protest too much.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse


LMAO! monkeys and keyboards...that's funny

eh they're bunch of no-good haters, they're lucky to have a hockey team...where hmmm Kansas City would be more appreciative and respectable compare to those lunatics

Posted by: RITdude | January 15, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I am especially fond of BlacknGold66 ... seems like a real nice guy; the kind you'd want to hang out with.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

@DaveUK - WAY to stay up late for the game dude. Good luck staying awake at work tomorrow....

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

best comment in the pens blog:

"Capitals Player We Would Bet Money On Scoring: Ovechkin. You could give this guy a cheap, plastic Mylec stick and we'll still take him."

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

ok haha sorry tarik but there's no way you can try and tell me the crowd at mellon was sold out. the middle of the first had so many empty seats i thought i was watching a caps game from 3 years ago. during the second it looked like everyone from the upper levels moved down to make it seem more crowded, but just because stupid pens fans bought season tix end of last yr not anticipating the good for us bad for them embarrassment they call a penguin season, doesn't mean it was sold out lol. with that said...

ovechkin totally owned tonight I'm waiting for a Crosby interview tomorrow "everytime he hit's me, I don't know why...?" suffering 3 straight losses was definately worth the wait for the win tonight. not only did the caps win, but semin owned, ovie owned, and we got a goal from a guy who hasn;t scored in 72 games. pretty much the definition of PWNED!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 15, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Hahaha man I just checked out Pensblog. That stuff is pretty epic. Apparently clean hard checking, scoring, and showing respectf or an opponent getting up from an injury are classless. I admit I'm biased as all hell, but we have reasons for calling him Cindy. Carrying on like he was dying then you read he didn't even have much of a limp in his post game interviews. At least one fan on Pensblog had it right, we got as many weak calls as they did for once.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | January 15, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

@Boo! - It's ok if you're a little late on the comments.... It IS late. And I am still wayyyyy too fired up to call it a night. Guess Its a good thing I'm working from home tomorrow...

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

That's not UK Dave - I think it is an American imposter!! ;-) Man, why did you have to post that Pens link? I can't stop reading it - riveting stuff! And here I thought Flyers fans were bad. Unbelievable.

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

As usual, a step behind the all powerful sombrero ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

"and we got a goal from a guy who hasn;t scored in 72 games. pretty much the definition of PWNED!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | January 15, 2009 12:41 AM "

haha the Pens got Whitney's first goal of the year too, since February or something. Twas a goodnight for light scoring D-men.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

@Boo! - you may be a step behind on the comments, but at least you're literate. I read "davethecapsfan" as "daveinUK".

Is there a 2 minute penalty for reading like an idiot?

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

no penalty - refs missed it - fired up is good - working from home - even better

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

No worries - I am guessing that you are not the only one who is going to make that mistake. Poor new Dave is going to wonder why everything keeps asking him about Manchester United and his Mickey Mouse PJs ... ;-)

BTW, did you look at the pics on that blog? I have to admit that some of them are kindof fun, but the really bad "photoshop" quality is even more amusing!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

@boo! - haha there are a couple of Ovechkin photoshops that made me laugh, specifically the John Wilks Booth photo...

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

I've got NHL on the Fly on while I do homework. My roommate was looking at the ticker across the bottom and delivered the quote of my night. "That's a typo, right? It says Satan plays for Pittsburgh. If that's actually his name, you'd think if the devil really was a hockey player, he'd be a Flyer." Between her boyfriend and I, we'll turn her into a fan!

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I know!! What's up with that?!?

Someone on the Pens blog posted, "Why does God hate us?" and someone responded, "Because Satan is on our team."

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

@JMU - We're all disciples of the church of Caps hockey. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I can go for awhile on Man U talk, kinda salty their game wasn't on FSC today but what can you do. I'm a new poster who's followed the blog the last couple years and have been a Caps fan (and bigger Skins fan) since the mid 80's. My general opinion here is everyone worries too much, teams go through slumps all the time if you said we were going to go 7-3 over the last 10 games prior to this one most people would be satisfied with that. If you said we'd be 18-3-1 at home at this point everyone would be satisfied with that. 28-14-3, 2nd in East I'm more than satisfied...time to get back on a good streak and start closing the gap on Boston starting Sat.

Posted by: Davethecapsfan | January 15, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Boo!, Far be it from me to say how God feels, but I think having Satan on their team is the least of the reasons.
Sombrero, We're trying. The fact that she had the game on when I got home from class shows she's getting there.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

@Davethecapsfan - Amen, Amen aaaaaaaaaaaaand Amen.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 15, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

That was short? Take care of yourself Tarik, you and Katie are my main sources of Caps news out in WI. Don't know what I'd do without you. ;-)

I know it's been said pretty often, but thanks for putting all the time and effort into the blog, you really don't have to if you have fever and chills! We'd understand.

Posted by: theGelf | January 15, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

New Dave:
I like you already ... and you are much more conducive to our schedules than your UK counterpart! ;-) (UK Dave - kidding ... just kidding!!) RE: United (FYI - the other Dave will tell you that ManU is a no-no), I could have sworn that Mr. Boo taped it today (at least he told me last night that he was going to), but I am not sure what channel it was on. Nonetheless, sounds like they rocked the red today, too!! :-) (Wow ... I just realized that "today" is yesterday and "last night" is the night before, but you get the point!! ;-))

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

you put ov, backstrom and kozlov back on the top line and look what happens. semin back on line 2 and he scores. if it aint broke BB, dont fix it!

Posted by: capsfansince74 | January 15, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

saturday - close the gap on the B's and get some more space on the rags

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Sombrero--great find with the penguins blog. Absolutely no class. It seems that all they do is make childish insults at Ovie. I guess when you live in a place like Pittsburgh, that's all you can do. That and sit at your computer and vote for Crosby literally a million times instead god forbid working a day in their lives.

Also, everyone should check this out

The game was the ESPNews highlight of the night. And great news is that I no longer hold a personal grudge with Barry Melrose because he is now off of kissing Crosby's you-know-what and on the Ovechkin bandwagon. Just a season too late, Barry.

Posted by: MFab12 | January 15, 2009 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Therrien said the Caps brought their game to the NEXTRA level; guess they realized that good was not good enough! :-) Yup, they won tonight because they put the biscuit in the basket, the stuffing in the turkey, the turkey in the oven, the car in the garage, the train in the station AND the cat in the hat. That's really why they won tonight - they put the cat in the hat.

Can you tell I drank too much Coke tonight? I need to go to bed ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 15, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

i love those commercials - g'night

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | January 15, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh Boo!, lol. That commercials come on and they never get old.
Someone please tell me the real world doesn't involve homework.

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jmu_capsgirl | January 15, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Just got back from seeing the Weird Wednesday feature: "FLYING MASTERS OF KUNG FU (1979)" It's, weird.

Not that anybody reads between now and Tarik's next post, but it needs to be stated that Theodore was indeed bad in this game too. He gave them the net many times, more than a handful, they just missed. Watch replays.

We played pretty inspired, but Pittsburgh also gave us the game in the third.

Liked to see the win, just setting the record straight.

nite nite easterners

Posted by: austinsteve | January 15, 2009 3:56 AM | Report abuse

And congrats to Laich for getting his 100th (and 101) NHL pt!!!

Posted by: Tracy2117 | January 15, 2009 5:42 AM | Report abuse


Hope you stayed clear of the players....wouldn't want to spread your plague. Cheers!

Posted by: Nootka | January 15, 2009 5:51 AM | Report abuse

How about that Cindy Crosby? Checked out last night with 3 minutes to play. Did you see that girly play where he tried to run Federov into the boards after the whistle. He thought better of it. Pittsburgh fans got what they wanted, Fluery + Crosby= Tee Times in early April.

Posted by: ergoroc | January 15, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Check on Stubub for extra's to the next two Pens game at Verizon. Something tells me it's a sellers market for DC area Yellow and Blacks.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 15, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Re: attendance at the game. Pitt announcers said it was a sellout but no shows due to what they said was really bad weather. It was in the 40s last night in Orlando, so I feel your pain.

Posted by: tominfl1 | January 15, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Airborne, tylenol and plenty of fluids.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | January 15, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

T-MAN -- Those chills you have are from watching our Capitals! Keep us posted on all things good.

Posted by: Caps16Fan | January 15, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

OV > Malkin + Crosby

end of story. This guy is a BEAST.

Posted by: PonMan | January 15, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The Pens pretty much lost this year when they gave up so much to get Hossa, including Crosby's room mate and best friend. They be a second tier team for quite awhile. As for that Pens blog, it would seem that Penguin fans are the product of a very limited gene pool.

Posted by: chopin224 | January 15, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who would like to see Satan on the Devils?

Posted by: --Boo-- | January 14, 2009 8:36 PM

@--Boo--: I've been saying the same thing abouth Satan since he was with the Sabres. I'm sure that sportswriters everywhere have been drooling over the mind-boggling alliterative possibilities for years, e.g.:

"Satan, Devils burn Rangers again"
"Satan steals Panthers' Souls in Overtime Win"

And if he were to become the GM or owner in NJ:

"Satan, Devils ink #6 pick to 6-year, $6M pact"


I miss Papa too.
doncosmic- I want the Peenies to make the playoffs so we can whip 'em like this four times.

Posted by: kevbnyc | January 14, 2009 10:12 PM


NOOOOOOOOO! we want the Pens to miss the playoffs, and will do anything in our power to make it so--have you forgotten the main reason we hate them is that they are the authors of more playoff misery for our Caps than any other NHL Team IN EITHER CONFERENCE--viz.:

--Caps go to 4 OT's, then lose the game and later the series.
--Caps have a 3-games-to-none edge, then lose that series too.
--Playoff game after playoff game, the Pens seemed to get just the bare minimum of goals needed to send us home for the summer. :,(

Almost all of those times, it seemed like the Pens' sole reason for existence was to keep the Caps from advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs, while progressing little or no further themselves.

Granted, recent history would SEEM to indicate that the Pittsburgh Monkey may be off our backs once and for all, but why take chances?

NOSIR, I want those b@$+@Rd$ to suffer badly, and be so far down in the standings that they have to look UP to see last place!

Will someone please create the web site Pretty please? I have checked recently,and the domain seems to be available for sale...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 15, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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