-- Alex Ovechkin
said Saturday morning that he has not heard anything from the NHL about his knee-on-knee collision with Sergei Gonchar
in Game 4 Friday night at Mellon Arena.
That's no surprise to the Washington Capitals
"There shouldn't be (any supplementary discipline)," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau
said around 11:15 a.m. Saturday, a little more than 13 hours after Pittsburgh finished off a 5-3 win to even up this series at 2-2 before Game 5 at Verizon Center on Saturday night.
"The knee is not the first thing that goes out," the coach continued. "He's trying to hit him with his shoulder and the rest of your body, you can't leave it somewhere, it's got to follow you. That's what happened. He led with his shoulder. Simple."
Ovechkin and Gonchar collided in the corner 14:55 into the first period after Gonchar poked the puck and moved to his left as he tried to avoid what looked like an attempted hit from Ovechkin. It appeared that Ovechkin's right knee flexed out slightly and it collided with Gonchar's right knee.
The Penguins' defenseman went flipping into the air while Ovechkin's momentum carried him around the goal. While Ovechkin never fell down, Gonchar struggled to get up and he needed help off the ice. He never returned and his status is listed as questionable.
Gonchar made the trip to D.C. for Game 5, but Penguins rookie Alex Goligoski
was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as insurance in case the veteran can't go.
Some Penguins' players believe Ovechkin maliciously tried to injure Gonchar. Brooks Orpik
said, "It definitely looked like (Ovechkin) stuck his leg out at (Gonchar)." He added, "We've got the feeling that he's really trying to hurt guys at times."
Ovechkin, who chuckled when he learned of Orpik's statement, said that during the game he tried to tell a couple of the Pittsburgh players, specifically Bill Guerin
and Mark Eaton
, "that it was an accident and I didn't try to hurt him."
"Of course it bothered me, but it's the playoffs and you can get hurt at any time," Ovechkin added. "Of course it's bad, but you can do nothing right now."
What Ovechkin can do is find his game again. The Penguins did a decent job limiting his chances in Game 3 and a masterful job on him in Game 4. Ovechkin was held to just seven shots on goal in the two games in Pittsburgh. He scored a gift goal off a bad bounce.
"They're a good team playing hard," Boudreau said of the Penguins. "That's the same as Philadelphia last year. Everything is ramped up in the playoffs. That's why you have different heroes from different teams. They know every time (Ovechkin) is on the ice everybody is focused on him just as we are on some of their individuals."
Ovechkin knows his production waned in the last two games, but he's trying to not put too much pressure on himself.
"You don't have to be superstars, you have to be leaders," he said. "It's 2-2 and we have to go back like it's 0-0. We still have to win two more games. Of course we lost two games and they were bad losses, but (Game 5) is going to be a different game for us and for them too."
Contact Dan Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org