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Pittsburgh
Penguins
22-46-14
Washington
Capitals
29-41-12

25 SOG
42 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PIT
WSH
game recap

Capitals 6, Penguins 3

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:47 AM

Associated Press

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Capitals 6, Penguins 3
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Washington Capitals 6

WASHINGTON (AP) - There was only one thing left for Alex Oveckhin to do to firmly stake his claim as the NHL's top rookie. He needed to beat Sidney Crosby head-to-head.

In the fourth and final meeting between the NHL's next-generation stars, Ovechkin finally got the better of his rival. The 20-year-old Russian scored his 42nd goal and added two assists Wednesday night in the Washington Capitals' 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We didn't want to see Ovie go out of here without winning this game," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "We tried to really take away the fact that it was Crosby-Oveckhin. We just wanted to make this a team game, and I think we played a strong game."

Crosby did not score and had one assist, leaving Ovechkin 10 points ahead in the rookie scoring race. Pittsburgh outscored Washington 19-8 in the first three meetings with Crosby having the better numbers each time, but Ovechkin's better overall season has made him the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy.

"We finally beat this team, and I'm happy," Ovechkin said. "He's a good player, but we don't think about each other. We play for a team and try to help the team to win."

Ovechkin made a perfectly timed pass to Chris Clark on a 2-on-1 break in the first period, supplied the secondary assist on Dainius Zubrus' goal in the second period, and snapped a blistering wrist shot past goalie Sebastien Caron on a power play in the third.

Ovechkin has scored in seven straight games, bettering his own franchise rookie-record streak. He has the most goals by an NHL rookie since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne set a record with 76.

"The competition is always high when we play each other," Crosby said. "That's to be expected. It's just the way it goes - someone has to come out on top."

The Oveckhin-Crosby showdown was nearly upstaged by a wacky blooper goal from Ivan Majesky. Near the boards at his own end - some 160 feet from the Pittsburgh net - Majesky lifted the puck high in a simple attempt to clear the zone while killing a penalty. The puck landed near the Penguins' blue line and bounced and rolled all the way into net, taking a last-second bend that left Caron flat-footed and embarrassed.

"It was a lucky bounce, but it counts," Majesky said of his first goal of the season. "It's in, so that's all it's about."

Said Caron: "It bounced one way. It bounced back the other way. Just really weird. It's always tough when those types of things happen. Just a nightmare of a goal."

Ben Clymer and Matt Pettinger also scored for the Capitals, who are 2-0 into a five-game homestand.

Colby Armstrong, John LeClair and Ryan Malone scored for the Penguins, who have lost four straight. Crosby's assist came on Armstrong's goal. Behind the goal line, the rookie made a pass from an near-impossible angle through the crease to set up his teammate for the game's first score.

"Sebastien gave up three bad goals," Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien said. "It's tough to win when you give up one bad goal, and we gave up three bad goals. You can't expect to win any hockey game like this."

Notes: Two of Pittsburgh's three wins since Jan. 6 have been over the Capitals. ... Crosby finished with three goals and six assists in the four head-to-head meetings; Ovechkin had three goals and three assists. ... Capitals D Brendan Witt, who expects to be shipped elsewhere by Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline, was a healthy scratch. D Jamie Heward remains sidelined with an upper body injury. ... Pittsburgh RW Michel Ouellet sat out the game, one night after getting slammed in the mouth with a stick against Tampa Bay. ... A pigeon made his way down to the ice during the first intermission and appeared to duel with a promotional flying blimp. The bird remained a humorous diversion in the second and third periods, fluttering not far from the players' heads and occasionally landed on the playing surface.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:03
PIT
Colby Armstrong (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (40), Cory Cross (4)
1 - 0 PIT
04:14
WSH
Ben Clymer (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Muir (13), Brian Sutherby (12)
1 - 1 Tie
11:10
WSH
Chris Clark (13) Snap shot - ASST: Alex Ovechkin (36)
2 - 1 WSH
16:08
WSH
SHG - Ivan Majesky (1) Slapshot - ASST: Shaone Morrisonn (9), Matt Bradley (10)
3 - 1 WSH
2nd Period
09:05
PIT
John Leclair (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Richard Jackman (22), Ryan Malone (13)
3 - 2 WSH
15:31
WSH
PPG - Dainius Zubrus (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Muir (14), Alex Ovechkin (37)
4 - 2 WSH
3rd Period
04:14
PIT
SHG - Ryan Malone (15) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
4 - 3 WSH
05:54
WSH
PPG - Alex Ovechkin (42) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Muir (15), Ben Clymer (7)
5 - 3 WSH
19:59
WSH
SHG - EN - Matt Pettinger (15) Backhand shot - ASST: Ivan Majesky (4)
6 - 3 WSH
penalty summary
1st Period
04:40
PIT
Richard Jackman  Holding against  Brooks Laich
14:17
WSH
Jeff Halpern  Interference
19:16
PIT
Shane Endicott  Tripping against  Alex Ovechkin
2nd Period
01:32
WSH
Chris Clark  Roughing against  Sergei Gonchar
06:25
PIT
Eric Cairns  Cross checking against  Matt Bradley
09:19
PIT
Eric Boguniecki  Hooking against  Jakub Klepis
10:34
PIT
John Leclair  Too many men/ice - bench
13:15
WSH
Shaone Morrisonn  Roughing against  Sidney Crosby
14:50
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Interference against  Dainius Zubrus
15:07
PIT
Konstantin Koltsov  Diving against  Steve Eminger
15:07
WSH
Steve Eminger  Hooking against  Konstantin Koltsov
18:30
PIT
Mark Recchi  Elbowing against  Ivan Majesky
3rd Period
02:18
PIT
Cory Cross  Hooking against  Brian Sutherby
05:08
PIT
Colby Armstrong  Hooking against  Shaone Morrisonn
05:36
PIT
Shane Endicott  Hooking
12:09
WSH
Steve Eminger  Cross checking against  Eric Boguniecki
18:27
WSH
Jeff Halpern  Hooking against  Tomas Surovy
goalie stats
Sebastien Caron
SA: 41TOI: 57:54
Saves: 36EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 17 - 19
SV%: .878SH: 2 - 3
Olie Kolzig
SA: 25TOI: 60:00
Saves: 22EV: 12 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .880SH: 1 - 2