I didn’t feel sorry for the Pens when I heard they would have to fly to Newark, then bus down to Washington for their Sunday matchup with the Caps – not one bit. We need every advantage we can get, fair or not. And in the first period of the game, we needed it just to hang on.
The Pens came out blazing, with two goals by Crosby, while the Caps were, to use one of Ovechkin’s favorite phrases, “sleepy.” The fans were sleepy, too, probably exhausted from shoveling all that snow. The arena was about 70% full at the start, with fans trickling in throughout.
The only highlight in the first was Knuble getting into a fight (okay, he more like wrestled the guy down) and then getting 2 minute, 5 minute *and* 10 minute penalties. Instigating, fighting and game misconduct. At one point in the game, the Caps top line had accumulated 29 penalty minutes!
The officiating was sad, to say the least – Ovechkin and others being boarded, tripped, hooked – but we didn’t help ourselves. Until Ovechkin showed us all why he’s the MVP. A great breakaway goal on a rocket pass from Schultz. Then a wonderful goal from Fehr (cutting Pens lead to 4-2 and breathing life into the Caps) showing that hard work pays off and it’s never a bad idea to crash the net.
The Caps used to be great in the first period. Lately, they’ve have turned it on in the third. So it was against the Pens. Note to team: that’s a bad habit to get into, counting on the comeback … and killing off the 5 on 3…
Ovechkin’s hat trick tied it up and got us to overtime to shouts of M-V-P, M-V-P. Lots of muttering in the stands about Cindy Crosby whining about so many hats on the ice and asking the officials to penalize the Caps for allowing their fans to celebrate (see last year’s Caps-Pens playoffs). Apparently, there’s a Crosby gene for whining, this from his father in the Washington Post:
“I’ve been to two games in Washington and, as a parent, you have to bite your tongue,” he [Troy Crosby] said. “You don’t like it. I went to the bathroom [during the 2006-07 season] and saw the [pictures of Sidney] in the urinals. It’s not a very pleasant thing to see.”
On the ice, the tide was turning. 8’s shot hit the inside post – but the light went off – was it in? Knuble shoved the puck under Fleury’s pads to punctuate the comeback.
To quote Bono: uno, dos, tres, QUATORZE!