-- The morning after, Alex Ovechkin
was ready to move on.
Even though the matching hat tricks of Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby
on Monday night at Verizon Center are still the talk of the hockey world, Ovechkin arrived at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday thinking only about what's next for the Caps.
"It's good for the League and it's good for us, but still it's just history now," Ovechkin said after declining to take part in the Capitals' optional practice a day after they took a 2-0 lead in the series with a 4-3 victory. "It's done."
Maybe for him, but not for the rest of the world, including the media covering the Capitals' practice and all of his friends back home in Moscow.
"After the game I had 25 messages, so it was pretty cool," Ovechkin said, refusing to divulge exactly what those messages said.
When Ovechkin was asked what he can do for an encore, he replied, "I don't know."
It was suggested that maybe doubling his output to six goals would be a way to go.
"If I score one I'll be happy," No. 8 said.
Even though Ovechkin slams his body into the glass after every goal he scores, an emotional act that always puts the spotlight squarely on his shoulders, it was clear Tuesday that he was done talking about himself and what he did in Monday's game.
"Right now it's nothing," he said. "It's 0-0. We don't think that we have a lead 2-0 going to Pittsburgh and we can still lose two games. It can't be like that. We have to win every game."
He's not ready to say the Capitals can deliver a knockout punch to the Penguins in Game 3 Wednesday night because it's still too early in the series to be thinking like that.
"We won two games and we have to win two more to more to move forward," Ovechkin said. "We can't stop playing our game and we can't stop believing in each other."
He thinks it's a good sign that the Caps haven't played their best game yet and are still up 2-0, but Ovechkin would like to see them be more disciplined, both with the puck and away from it.
Just like he did Monday night in his postgame press conference, Ovechkin commented on the bad penalties that Alexander Semin
and Chris Clark
took in the first period. Both were retaliatory and Semin's resulted in Crosby's first power-play goal while Clark's negated a power play for Washington.
"We didn't play our best, but if we're going to play our best you don't know what is going to happen," Ovechkin said. "It is history now and we have to move to the next game."
He can keep saying that, but even he knows that's not so easy for everybody else to do.
"The fans want to see great players play against each other and they're seeing it," Ovechkin said. "It's a war and it's a pretty cool war. Everybody enjoys it and everybody loves it. It's pretty cool."
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