College of Sports Media Game of the Night:
It’s a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight as the Washington Capitals ride a four game winning streak into Pittsburgh to battle the Penguins. More importantly the two biggest stars in the NHL, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin renew their rivalry for the first time this season. Prior to the playoffs last season it was clear these two were not the best of friends and that translated to some fantastic hockey. One can only hope tonight will be more of the same. Alex the Great comes into this game first in the league in plus/minus (+27) and second in scoring. In 41 games Ovechkin has 30 goals, 35 assists and is averaging a league best 1.59 points per game. His team, the Capitals sit atop the Eastern Conference with 68 points and lead the league in goals scored averaging 3.69 goals per game. Washington has ten players who are in double digits for goals and two more who aren’t named Ovechkin who have reached the 20 goal plateau (Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom). They also feature a defenceman who’s pretty good at the offensive game as well in Mike Green. Green may have been overlooked by team Canada for the upcoming Olympics, but he does lead all defencemen with 50 points (12 g/38A) and is deadly to have on the power play. With all that firepower it’s not surprising to see the Caps leading the East. Pittsburgh sits second in the Atlantic division with 63 points and trail the New Jersey Devils by only four points. Both Crosby and fellow super star teammate Evgeni Malkin were in a bit of a scoring slump but they both broke out on Tuesday night in a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. Sid the Kid was a factor on every Pittsburgh goal, notching 2 goals and 4 assists. Malkin turned the trick, scoring three goals in the win. It’s fair to say that Crosby and Malkin need to produce for this team to be successful, but both Jordan Staal and Bill Guerin are showing that they can be relied on as well. With 13 goals and 21 assists Staal is only two points behind his entire total from last season (36). Playing with Crosby has been a fountain of youth for Guerin. He’s on pace to score 26 goals this season, a total he hasn’t reached in four seasons. So it’s the first of four this season between the Caps and Pens and although their may be an argument between who’s better, Ovechkin or Crosby, one thing is for sure – tonight’s game will be electric.