PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby maintains the rivalry is still the rivalry -- even if pits a first-place team against one in last place.
"Even (seven years ago) when we were 29th (in the NHL standings), it was a rivalry," Crosby said of the duels between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. "It's developed with history. There's not always clear explanations why teams are rivals, but things build -- and I don't think the standings have any effect on whether it's a rivalry or not."
The Penguins (7-3-1) have won four straight heading into Thursday night's game at Consol Energy Center against the Capitals (2-7-1), who have lost four of five.
The team's plights mirror that of their superstar players. While Pittsburgh's Crosby is tied for fourth in the NHL with 14 points in 10 games, Washington's Alex Ovechkin has been limited to merely being tied for fourth on his own team with five points.