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Ovechkin: We know the deal tonight

Monday, 05.11.2009 / 12:58 PM / Conference Semifinals: Washington vs. Pittsburgh

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Alex Ovechkin doesn't believe anybody in the Washington Capitals' dressing room needs to stand up and give the rah-rah, motivational speech Monday night.

The situation, he says, speaks for itself.

The Capitals enter Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) on the brink of elimination stemming from a three game losing streak. They trail 3-2 in this historic series with the prospect of a summer vacation starting before the stroke of midnight.

"I think everybody understands right now what is going on and we don't need a speech," Ovechkin said in front of just three reporters while standing outside of Mellon Arena after the Capitals' morning skate. "Everybody knows a situation that tomorrow maybe we can go home and the season is over and nobody wants that. We don't need more motivation right now to say something or feel something. I think Bruce (Boudreau) talked to us a lot and everybody understands what is going and what can happen."

The Capitals have fared well in these desperate situations before. Counting the last game of the 2007-08 regular season, they're 6-1 in win or go home games, including 3-0 this season after going down 3-1 to the New York Rangers.

But when the Capitals were trailing in the last round, they still felt as though they were outplaying the Rangers. It's hard to say that they've outplayed the Penguins now.

"Yeah, we won two games in our building, but you can see how we lost three games with bad goals and bad bounces," Ovechkin said. "You can say that (the Penguins have outplayed Washington), but we still feel pretty good about ourselves and we don't give up. Our goal is to come back and we can come back to Game 7 in Washington."

For that to happen, Ovechkin is smart enough to know the Capitals need at least some production out of fellow Russian Alexander Semin, who was standing beside Ovechkin talking on the phone as No. 8 spoke.

Ovechkin leads the League with 17 playoff points, including seven goals and three assists against Pittsburgh. After scoring five goals against the Rangers, Semin, who does not do interviews in English, has yet to score against the Penguins.

Still, Ovechkin wasn't about to throw his buddy under the team bus, which, ironically, pulled up right next to the pair as we spoke to Ovechkin.

"We need more from everybody," he said. "One player can't win you a series or a game. Yeah, sometimes one player can do good and score goals, but it's all about your team and how we're going to prepare for the next shift, next shot, next body hit. It's not about one guy.

"It's the second round and you can move forward and you can fight for the Stanley Cup in the next round if you win," he added. "We have to win only 10 games right now to win the Stanley Cup, but trying to win these games, it's pretty hard."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com
Quote of the Day

With this being the last year [at the Coliseum], we'd love to try to get back to the dance like we did against Pittsburgh and prove ourselves and go even further. It's an important year.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano