Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Washington leads 4-0

Game 1: Thursday, January 21st
Game 2: Sunday, February 7th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 24th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 6th

Penguins 4

(35-22-2, 72 pts)

Capitals 5

(41-12-6, 88 pts)

Coverage: NBC

12:00 PM ET, February 7, 2010

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 OT T
PIT 2 2 0 04
WSH 0 2 2 15

A. Ovechkin (Capitals - LW): Goals: 3, Assists: 1

S. Crosby (Penguins - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

E. Fehr (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Penguins-Capitals Preview


Alex Ovechkin and the NHL-leading Washington Capitals are getting closer to the Pittsburgh Penguins' 17-year-old record for the longest winning streak in league history.

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins will try to end the Capitals' outstanding run Sunday afternoon, but a major snowstorm may stop them both.

Ovechkin, the two-time reigning Hart Trophy winner, leads the NHL with 39 goals and 82 points, and the Capitals (40-12-6) have the most wins, points (86) and goals (229).

The superstar left wing has 13 goals and 19 assists in the last 16 games, helping Washington win 15 of them -- including their current franchise-record 13-game winning streak.

The Penguins (35-22-1) were the last team to have a longer run, reeling off an NHL-record 17 in a row from March 9-April 10, 1993.

The Capitals have already beaten the reigning Stanley Cup champs once during their current streak, a 6-3 victory Jan. 21 in Pittsburgh as Ovechkin scored two goals and set up another by Mike Knuble.

Ovechkin helped Washington move closer to the Pens' record Friday, getting one goal and one assist in a 5-2 win over Atlanta.

"It's a neat thing to be a part of," general manager George McPhee said of the winning streak, during which the Capitals have outscored opponents 62-29. "You don't plan on being involved in something like this. But now that we're in it, let's see what we can do with it."

Keeping the streak going Sunday might be a bigger task simply because of the weather.

A snowstorm has blanketed the nation's capital with nearly two feet of snow, and the Penguins are coming from Montreal, where they lost 5-3 on Saturday after winning four of the previous five.

This game -- another rematch of last year's seven-game Eastern Conference semifinals -- might be too big to be stopped by a blizzard.

"Home ice, Super Bowl Sunday, a nationally televised game. It's something all the players get up for," McPhee said. "That should be an exciting game for us and a great test."

The Penguins were scheduled to fly from Montreal to Newark, N.J., on Saturday before busing the remaining 223 miles to the Verizon Center. The Capitals are an NHL-best 22-3-3 at home, where they have won 10 in a row.

"It's going to be a pretty big battle and a fun game," said Ovechkin, who has 12 goals and 12 assists in 17 games against Pittsburgh.

He also had eight goals and six assists in last year's playoff series.

Crosby, who isn't far behind Ovechkin with 37 goals and 72 points, had eight goals and five assists in eliminating the Capitals last postseason. The Penguins captain came up big in Game 7 at Washington, getting two goals and one assist to spur a 6-2 win.

He has nine goals and 18 assists in 16 career regular-season matchups with the Capitals, but had a minus-1 rating despite scoring a goal in last month's meeting.

Crosby was limited to an assist Saturday, when the Penguins were outplayed and outshot 32-21 by the Canadiens.

"I don't think we played a very good game as a team, and that's a very disappointing way to lose a match," coach Dan Bylsma said.

Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled midway through the third period Saturday after giving up four goals on 24 shots. Backup Brent Johnson, who gave up one goal in relief, made 28 saves while taking the loss against Washington last month.

Fleury is 8-3-0 with a 2.91 goals-against average and one shutout against the Capitals, winning six of seven starts at the Verizon Center.