Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin Talk Game 3
Three of the biggest stars in the NHL took the podium one after another this evening to address the Penguins' 3-2 overtime win. All three agreed that Pittsburgh deserved to win this one, though Alex Ovechkin wasn't particularly in the mood to discuss it. He was asked about Simeon Varlamov.
"I don't want to talk about Varlamov," he said. "Sorry."
He was asked about penalties.
"I don't want to talk about referee too," Ovechkin said.
He was asked about the team's discipline in logging seven penalties.
"I don't want to talk about it," he said. "Seriously. They have only two penalties. It's kind of a joke, I think."
(The Penguins, of course, didn't agree. Brooks Orpik took issue with the Pascal Dupuis interference call that led to Washington's late-game power-play goal, which in turn led to overtime.
"The referees were really letting us play there," Orpik said. "I thought both teams could have had a couple more penalties, but that's just something you've got to go with and get a feel for, and then they called that one on [Dupuis]...which I thought was marginal at best, especially at that point in the game.)
More generally, here were Ovechkin's thoughts:
"We just didn't play our game tonight," he said. "I think we have lucky goal when we score first goal, it was bad bounce, and after that we still have great chances to score goal but after this we just stopped playing. I don't know what's happening, but we can't play like that, especially away against Pittsburgh. It was lucky we tied the game, and in overtime they score goal. It's nothing right now. We lost game and I don't want to talk about it."
Gotcha. So it's on to Crosby.
"We generated tons of chances, could have scored a lot more," he said, which was inarguable. (The Pens outshot the Caps 42-23.) "Varlamov made some big saves, we had a lot of pucks laying around the net that we just didn't put in, but we stuck to what we wanted to do and it was nice to see it pay off....We've got to know going into Game 4 that if we do the right things, we're going to be rewarded."
Crosby also raved about Evgeni Malkin, who had been criticized for being scoreless in two games while his fellow stars shined. Malkin scored in Game 3 and was everywhere in the offensive zone, launching nine shots while playing nearly 30 minutes.
"I think our last few days he's taken a bit of heat and he's played well, and unfortunately the puck didn't go in," Crosby said. "And today, I think he raised his game even more still, did a lot of great things....It was a big game and he definitely came to play and raised his game."
("No, he play the same," Ovechkin said, when asked if he agreed. "Same level.")
Malkin's English is far from Ovechkin's, and he answered just two questions, both briefly. "We play aggressive all game, lots of [shots], and we play good tonight," he said slowly.
As he was leaving the podium, Crosby whispered something to his fellow star about how dealing with the press was easy.
"Easy for you," Malkin said.
A final note, concerning the ice. Several players, on both teams, said it was atrocious.
"The ice was really bad," Orpik said, "and something we talked about going into the overtime was just put pucks on net, you never know."
"In overtime ice was just a mess, pucks just bouncing and stuff," Ovechkin said, discussing in particular one rush in which he lost control of the puck. "We have 3 on 2, [Hal] Gill goes down and I have probably 100 percent chance to score goals but puck just stopped moving."
Anyhow, here's Ovechkin summing up all the other quotes you'll read about this game.
"I think they deserved today to win," he said. "They played better than us. I think everybody see it."
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