WASHINGTON (AP) -Alex Ovechkin is tired of Sidney Crosby's mouth. Crosby's doesn't care for Ovechkin's theatrics.
It's official: The feud is on between the NHL's two biggest stars, and it was on full display Sunday in the Washington Capitals' 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. A push and a shove along the benches late the second period resulted in Crosby being restrained by a linesman and Ovechkin dismissing his counterpart with a wave of the hand.
Ovechkin entered the game unhappy that Crosby had accused the Capitals star of a "cheap shot" hit in Washington's win at Pittsburgh last month.
"What I can say about him?" Ovechkin said. "He is a good player, but he talks too much. I play hard. If he wants to do something like hit me again, try to hit me again - and I'll talk to you guys (about) who plays dirty. That's my game. It's not cheap shots, it's a game moment. But he doesn't like it, it's his problem."
And what does Crosby make of Ovechkin's showmanship?
"Like it or lump it, that's what he does," Crosby said. "Some people like it, some people don't. Personally, I don't like it."
In a Penguins-Capitals rivalry that's always had its share of tit-for-that - it was Ovechkin vs. Evgeni Malkin and Crosby vs. Alexander Semin in mini-feuds earlier this season - this one could eclipse them all. It doesn't help Crosby's humor that the two teams have traded places over the last year: Pittsburgh is struggling, while Washington is soaring.
"He started it," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said with a laugh. "Sidney was jawing at everybody. Every time he would come off, you see him talking to our bench and our bench talking to him. I think he got frustrated because he wasn't getting the freedom he's had in this building before."
The Capitals are 3-0 against the Penguins this season and 4-1-1 since Boudreau became coach 15 months ago. Before Boudreau, Washington was 1-7-1 in its previous nine games in the series, and Crosby had all the bragging rights.
Ovechkin scored his 43rd goal in the win. Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov, Shaone Morrisonn and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals, who chased goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the second period.
Maxime Talbot and Sergei Gonchar scored for the Penguins, who have dropped six of seven on the road and lost in Washington for the first time since Ovechkin's rookie season in 2006.
At New York, Niklas Hagman scored on a power play 3 minutes into overtime for Toronto, tipping Pavel Kubina's shot past Henrik Lundqvist.
Ian White and John Mitchell added goals, Vesa Toskala made 39 saves, and Kubina and Lee Stempniak each had three assists.
Michal Rozsival scored with 39.1 seconds left in regulation to tie it for New York, and Scott Gomez added a goal for the Rangers.
At Tampa, Fla., Vaclav Prospal beat Manny Fernandez on a power play with 1:33 left to lift Tampa Bay past Eastern Conference-leading Boston.
Jeff Halpern, Adam Hall and Mark Recchi also scored for Tampa Bay, and Karri Ramo made 40 saves. Phil Kessel, Andrew Ference and Zdeno Chara scored for Boston.
At Chicago, Josh Harding made 44 saves for Minnesota, and Peter Olvecky snapped a tie early in the third period with his first NHL goal.
Dan Fritsche also scored for Minnesota, and the Wild's NHL-leading penalty kill snuffed all eight Chicago advantages. Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago. The loss ended the Blackhawks' winning streak at four.
At Raleigh, N.C., Matt Cullen had his first career hat trick, and Carolina won its third straight to move within a point of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Joni Pitkanen and Ryan Bayda also scored for Carolina.
Darcy Tucker and Wojtek Wolski scored for Colorado.
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (43) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (48), Sergei Fedorov (17)|
1 - 0 WSH
|Maxime Talbot (8) ASST: Mark Eaton (4), Brooks Orpik (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Alexander Semin (22) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (49), Mike Green (30)|
2 - 1 WSH
|Sergei Fedorov (6) ASST: Alexander Semin (30)|
3 - 1 WSH
|PPG - Sergei Gonchar (2) ASST: Sidney Crosby (56), Evgeni Malkin (60)|
3 - 2 WSH
|Shaone Morrisonn (3) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (34), Eric Fehr (11)|
4 - 2 WSH
|Brooks Laich (14) ASST: Tom Poti (9), Alexander Semin (31)|
5 - 2 WSH
|Boyd Gordon Tripping against Pascal Dupuis|
|Ryan Whitney Holding against Brooks Laich|
|Alexander Semin Tripping against Brooks Orpik|
|Jordan Staal Tripping against Shaone Morrisonn|
|Maxime Talbot Boarding against Matt Bradley|
|Donald Brashear Hooking against Evgeni Malkin|
|John Erskine Interference against Pascal Dupuis|
|Alex Ovechkin Too many men/ice - bench|
|Alexander Semin Slashing against Brooks Orpik|
|Brooks Orpik Slashing against Alexander Semin|
|Tom Poti Elbowing against Brooks Orpik|
|Sergei Fedorov Holding against Ruslan Fedotenko|
|Shaone Morrisonn Tripping against Evgeni Malkin|