WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin broke a four-game pointless streak with an assist in Monday night's Washington Capitals win over Phoenix.
Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby closed to within 11 points of Ovechkin's season total over 19 games in just his first game of the season.
Oversaturation of the Sidney vs. Ovi rivalry acknowledged, they remain inexorably linked on a night like this. Bob McKenzie of TSN wrote "the biggest win-win tonight for the NHL and game of hockey would be if Crosby and Ovechkin both light it up tonight." Wayne Scanlon of the Gazette wondered if Crosby's return would motivate Ovechkin, whose middling season has led to stark criticism.
"I hope that he doesn't need that," said Coach Bruce Boudreau, when asked about Crosby's night in Pittsburgh. "I think he's tryin' his butt off out there,"
When asked if Crosby's return would motivate him, Ovechkin said "yeah," but followed by saying: "It doesn't matter; Sidney over there, somebody else over there … I have to pl...