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Penguins' Crosby, Capitals' Ovechkin are rolling into renewal of rivalry

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 3:15 PM The Canadian Press

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will renew their rivalry Wednesday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Washington Capitals.

First place in the Metropolitan Division will be on the line.

It's the first time in several years the NHL's top two superstars will face off with each playing at the top of his game.

Crosby and Ovechkin are in the top five in the league in points, bringing up plenty of nostalgia about the good old days.

"Those two guys have been the face of the NHL and been promoted that way," Penguins winger Chris Kunitz said. "They're both playing (at an) extremely high level of hockey right now. Ovechkin always being able to shoot the puck and score goals and help his team and lead his team, it's the same for our team with Sid being able to collect the points and do everything that we need him to do."

Crosby has 10 goals and 16 assists in Pittsburgh's 21 games, while Ovechkin has 17 goals and seven assists in Washington's 19 games. They've played 25 regular-season games against each other — Crosby has 14 goals and 29 assists, and Ovechkin has 17 goals and 15 assists.

There's no doubt their head-to-head matchup brings out the best in each other. In the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinal series that Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said set up the team-wide rivalry, Ovechkin and Crosby combined for 27 points and put on one of the best shows in recent memory with duelling hat tricks in Game 2 at Verizon Center.

Since then, Crosby and Ovechkin hit rough patches. Crosby missed four games against the Capitals because of concussion symptoms, and Ovechkin went through a transition from left to right wing under coach Adam Oates that brought his scoring touch back.

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