Crosby, Pens win showdown with Ovechkin, Caps

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After signing a contract extension and being
honored as an Olympian, Washington Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig went
out and had a nightmarish game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, leading the Penguins to
a 6-3 victory over the Capitals on Saturday night.

"Just about everything they shot at the net went into the net
and that was the problem," said Kolzig, who signed a two-year,
$10.9 million extension earlier in the day.

In a showdown between the NHL's rookie scoring leaders, Crosby
moved within four points of Washington's Alexander Ovechkin, who
scored his 36th goal and extendend his franchise rookie record with
his 69th point of the season.

"Its always been like that," Crosby said of squaring off
against Ovechkin. "You always try with that extra little bit of
motivation when youre getting comparisons and things like that. You
just try to use the energy from the game to utilize that in your
play. But by no means is it something you mark on the schedule or
anything like that."

John LeClair, Sergei Gonchar, Colby Armstrong, Mark Recchi and
Eric Boguniecki also scored for the Penguins, winners of
consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 31, 2005. Gonchar
and Recchi added two assists apiece.

"Special teams was the key," Gonchar said of the Penguins, who
were 4-for-11 on the power play and blanked the Capitals on their
five chances.. "That was the difference. We scored a lot of goals
on the power play and they didn't. To have a game like this against
my old team is nice."

Marc-Andre Fleury had 33 saves for the Penguins, who last won
consecutive road games Nov. 1-3.

"We've had a tough time getting wins," Fleury said. "To beat
the best team in the league (Carolina) last night and then tonight
to beat Washington here, that's good for us mentally."

Ovechkin's short-handed goal pulled the Capitals to 6-2 at 10:07
of the third period, and Brian Sutherby capped the scoring with 31
seconds left as Washington lost its fourth straight.

"If we wouldn't have lost the (last) game before the Olympics,
I would have felt better," said Ovechkin, who will play for Russia
in the Turin Games. "But I think we played very well in the first
period and we missed second-period chances."

Recchi gave the Penguins a 5-0 lead on a power-play goal at
14:16 of the second period. Crosby and Gonchar assisted on the
around-the-horn play, capped by Recchi's wrist shot from the left

Recchi's shot from the left side hit the right post and Crosby
stuffed the rebound past a sprawling Kolzig to give the Penguins a
1-0 lead on a power-play goal with 1:35 remaining in the first
period. It was Crosby's 28th goal.

"I think they took the wind out of our sails when they scored
that goal after we dominated the first period," Kolzig said. "It
gave them a little bit of confidence and we got into penalty
trouble. There's not much more that you can say about that."

LeClair opened the Penguins' four-goal second period with an
unassisted score at 1:11. His 12th goal of the season left the
15-year NHL veteran six goals shy of 400 for his career.

Gonchar scored off a feed from behind the net by Armstrong to
give the Penguins a 3-0 lead at 4:38, with Crosby picking up his
37th assist. Armstrong scored on a rebound to at 8:21.

Matt Pettinger stuffed home a rebound off Fleury's pads for the
Capitals' first goal at 6:52 of the third period.

The first period featured 17 penalties, including a 10-minute
misconduct for Capitals defenseman Nolan Yonkman. Washington's Doug
Doll and Pittsburgh's Andre Roy received 5-minute majors for
fighting at the 8:13 mark when they squared off immediately
following a faceoff.

Jeff Halpern's holding penalty at the 17-minute mark opened the
door for Crosby's power-play goal.

Game notes
Three Capitals players headed for the Turin Games were
honored in a pregame ceremony -- Kolzig (Germany), Ovechkin (Russia)
and Ivan Majesky (Slovakia). ... Washington had its second sellout
crowd of 18,277 this season. ... The Penguins have defeated the
Capitals three times this season.