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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Ovechkin concedes Caps were outplayed

Wednesday, 05.06.2009 / 11:37 PM / Conference Semifinals: Washington vs. Pittsburgh

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Alex Ovechkin knows Washington's goalie, Simeon Varlamov, played another stellar game Wednesday night, but didn't want to talk about him.

Ovechkin also believes the Capitals were called for too many penalties, telling NHL.com that the 7-2 power-play discrepancy in favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins was "just unbelievable."

"They had only two penalties," he said during his postgame news conference. "It's kind of a joke."

Ovechkin, though, didn't want to dive into too much after Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Mellon Arena because he couldn't get over this one simple fact: Save for the first 10 minutes, his team was outplayed by the Penguins.

"We still have a lead (2-1 in the series), but I think they deserved to win," said Ovechkin, who scored his eighth goal of the playoffs and his fifth of this series just 1:23 into the game. "They played better than us, and I think everybody saw it."

Ovechkin, who also had an assist, was mostly mad at how the Capitals played in the second period, when it appeared they were defending the entire time as the Penguins outshot them 15-4.

Of course, Washington also had to kill off a three penalties totaling 4:28 of power-play time.

Ruslan Fedotenko ended up tying the game 1-1 with a goal off a 2-on-1 rush with Maxime Talbot against Caps defenseman Milan Jurcina at 9:29. The Penguins sent 10 more shots on Varlamov in the final 10 minutes of the second period.

Ovechkin, meanwhile, managed only one of the Caps' shots in the second and finished the game with just five after averaging more than 10 through Games 1 and 2. He also was credited with seven hits.

"They just outplayed us in the second period," Ovechkin said. "They got it deep and controlled the puck in the offensive zone. It's good that they only scored the one goal."

Ovechkin felt the Capitals just stopped competing in the second, allowing the Penguins to attack Washington's defense and Varlamov.

"I don't know what happened, but we can't play like this away, especially against Pittsburgh," he said. "They competed very well and they got the puck in our zone and didn't give us any chance to move the puck to the neutral zone. Whenever we had the puck in the neutral zone they got it deep on us so fast."

That being said, Ovechkin still had a chance to win the game in overtime after Nicklas Backstrom forced the extra session with his goal off a rebound with 1:50 to play.

Ovechkin had a good chance on a 3-on-2, but after taking the pass from Backstrom he said the puck just stopped on him.

"In overtime the ice was just a mess and the puck was bouncing and it stopped," Ovechkin said. "Backy gives me the pass on a 3-on-2, (Hal) Gill went down and I had probably a 100 percent chance to score a goal and the puck just stopped moving."

Crosby-Ovechkin Gear Alex Ovechkin Gear Sidney Crosby Gear Still, he wasn't absolving himself for not scoring there.

"Just my mistake," Ovechkin said after referring to the ice.

He didn't appear angry, but was definitely annoyed.

"We can't play like this," he said. "It was lucky that we tied the game and went to overtime."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com






Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1