Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will renew their rivalry in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in seven years.
With the Washington Capitals eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round series on Sunday, it set up a matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time in the postseason since 2009. The Penguins defeated the New York Rangers in five games in their first round series.
Ovechkin, whose Captials lost in seven games in the second round to Crosby and the Penguins in a memorable series where they each scored a hat trick in the same game, knows it's not going to be easy.
"It's going to be an interesting series," Ovechkin said. "It's going to be a hard series. Two good teams play against each other and we'll see what's going to happen."
Ovechkin and Crosby each had their first career postseason hat trick in the same game, a 4-3 win by the Capitals in Game 2. Ovechkin scored once in the first and twice in the second, and Crosby scored once in each period, including with 31 seconds left to complete his hat trick.
Video: 2009 Round 2, Gm2: Ovechkin, Crosby double hat-tricks
Ovechkin had eight goals and six assists in the series; Crosby had eight goals and five assists.
When asked Sunday what he remembered from that series, Ovechkin quickly replied, "nothing."
The Capitals and Penguins will meet in the playoffs for the ninth time. The Penguins have won seven of the eight series.
Washington and Pittsburgh met in the postseason five times in six seasons from 1991-96; the Capitals' only series win came in 1994, when they defeated Pittsburgh in six games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Penguins also defeated the Capitals in the Conference Quarterfinals in 2000 and 2001.
The Penguins, who advanced to the second round after defeating the New York Rangers in five games, won three of the five games against the Capitals during the regular season. Ovechkin had no points; Crosby had a goal and three assists.
Video: Crosby, Ovechkin through the years comparison