Daily Primer Nov. 20: Crosby, Ovechkin square off

Wednesday, 11.20.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

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Daily Primer Nov. 20: Crosby, Ovechkin square off
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin go head-to-head Wednesday when the Pittsburgh Penguins battle the Washington Capitals for the first time this season.

Two of the NHL's biggest stars will go face-to-face Wednesday at Verizon Center.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). Washington (12-8-1) trails Pittsburgh (13-8-0) by one point for the Metropolitan Division lead.

"Of course, it's a challenge for me, and for him I think," Ovechkin told reporters Tuesday about facing Crosby. "But, don't forget [Evgeni] Malkin, don't forget Nicky [Nicklas Backstrom] … I don't think it's only two of us right now."

Here's a closer look at the action Wednesday:

Minnesota Wild at Ottawa Senators -- Each team will be looking to bounce back from losses Tuesday. The Wild had a rare off-night defensively and dropped a 6-2 decision to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. It was the second regulation loss for the Wild in their past 14 games and snapped an eight-game point streak. The Senators suffered a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Ottawa has dropped three of its past four games.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals -- This will be the first time the Penguins and Capitals meet as division rivals since March 28, 1993, the final season of the Patrick Division. Pittsburgh has won the past four meetings, including a three-game, season-series sweep in 2012-13. Despite their firepower up front, the Penguins have scored 29 goals in their past 13 games. Washington is 7-1-1 in its past nine games after winning five of its first 12.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames -- Columbus reportedly held a players-only meeting following a 7-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets mustered 14 shots on goal; Edmonton had 15 in the first period alone. Calgary returns to Scotiabank Saddledome to begin a three-game homestand after snapping a six-game skid with a 5-4 shootout victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

New Jersey Devils at Anaheim Ducks -- The Devils, who have points in eight of their past 11 games, begin a three-game trip through California. New Jersey rebounded from a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Prudential Center on Friday night by beating Pittsburgh 4-1 on Saturday. Anaheim returns to Honda Center after a tough four-game road trip that saw the Ducks score six goals and earn one point in the standings.

Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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