Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson clearly know greatness when they see it, and they saw it often in the Eastern Conference Final.
Karlsson and Crosby shared a touching moment in the handshake line, showing incredible sportsmanship and admiration for each other after the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-2 double-overtime win against the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Karlsson had five points, all assists, in seven games against the Penguins, playing the bulk of the series against Crosby's line. He had 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 19 games during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to lead all defensemen, impressing much of the hockey world, including Crosby.
"Unreal job, buddy," Crosby said to Karlsson as he shook the Senators captain's hand.
Crosby will make his fourth Stanley Cup Final appearance and is eyeing his third championship. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games against the Senators, including the primary assist on Chris Kunitz's goal at 5:09 of the second overtime.
"Get another one," Karlsson said, hugging Crosby and patting him on the shoulder. "I hope you're healthy."
Pure class from two great competitors even after a hard-fought series.