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In third period: Crosby 2, Ovie 1, but tie score

by Staff
If you think Saturday's Game 1 lived up to its billing, well, Game 2 is even better. Sidney Crosby has scored two goals to Alex Ovechkin's one, while Ovie's teammate David Steckel added a goal late in the second period for a 2-2 game at intermission. The two stars have played roughly the same number of minutes and shifts so far.

For starters, Sid the Kid did it again. When he stuffed in a Sergei Gonchar shot from the point on the power play, Sidney Crosby started Game 2 pretty much the same way he launched this series during its opener on Saturday: He scored the game's first goal.

For Crosby, it was his sixth goal in eight postseason games this spring, well ahead of the Pittsburgh star's six goals in 20 games during the Penguins' run to the Stanley Cup Final. Crosby's goal was the only score of a high-flying, entertaining first period.

But just more than two minutes into the second period, Crosby's rival and star opposite, Alex Ovechkin, answered with his own superstar score. Sergei Fedorov started the play, passing to Viktor Kozlov, who found a wide-open Ovechkin at the center of the left-side faceoff circle. Ovechkin banged it home to set off a raucous home crowd celebration, as the Caps tied up the game.

Ovechkin now has five goals for the playoffs. Fedorov's assist on the goal, for the record, pushed him into 15th on the all-time NHL scoring list. The veteran Fedorov passed, guess who, Penguins legend and principal owner Mario Lemieux.

Just shy of 11 minutes into the second period, trade-deadline winger Bill Guerin placed a shot on goal from outside the right circle. Crosby, hanging at the top of the crease, found the leaky puck and flicked it home for his seventh playoff goal and a Penguins' 2-1 lead.

Caps center Steckel kept pace with his famous Caps teammate, scoring his second goal in two games of this Eastern Conference semifinal. The primary assist on the play came from 28-year-old Tyler Sloan, making his first NHL postseason appearance after being called up overnight for the injured John Erskine>

Ovechkin totaled five shots on goal in the first period, including a pair of early saves by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury that is sure to draw raves from teammates after the game. Ovie also lost his helmet with 14 seconds left when tussling with both Gonchar and Chris Kunitz

Caps goalie Simeon Varlamov, who is playing in his 7th career playoff game after only six NHL regular-season games, returned the favor of sorts by stopping Crosby on a close-in shot late in the period when the Penguins were working a 5-on-3 power play. After a leg save on Crosby, the rebound caromed out to Gonchar and Varlamov made a rising glove save.
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