Matchup: Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin, Game 7
Penguins center has assist on winning goal; Capitals left wing minus-2 with four shots in lossby Nicholas J. Cotsonika @Cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist
WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Verizon Center on Wednesday.
Pittsburgh will play the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final.
Here is a breakdown of the matchup within the matchup between Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin:
Goals: Crosby 0; Ovechkin 0
Assists: Crosby 1; Ovechkin 0
Points: Crosby 1; Ovechkin 0
Ice time: Crosby 20:12; Ovechkin 18:22
Other numbers to note: Crosby outscored Ovechkin in the series, even though he played 2:11 in Game 3 and missed Game 4 because of a concussion. The Penguins center had seven points (two goals, five assists) to Ovechkin's five (two goals, three assists). In 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games between the two, Ovechkin has 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) to Crosby's 22 (10 goals, 11 assists), but the Penguins have won all three series between them. Ovechkin had four shots and four hits Wednesday, but was minus-2. He finished seventh among Capitals forwards in ice time.
Video: PIT@WSH, Gm7: Rust roofs Guentzel's perfect pass
Best moment: Crosby's assist came on the goal that gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 8:49 into the second period. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen took a hit from Penguins forward Bryan Rust while trying to clear the Washington zone. The puck got past Ovechkin to Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, who held the blue line and passed from the right point to the right circle. Crosby passed to the left circle for Jake Guentzel, who waited patiently to draw the defense and passed to the right hashmarks. Rust roofed a shot to make it 1-0.
Crosby said it: "It was probably one of our better games we've played, and it's the right time to have that one."
Ovechkin said it: "We didn't execute on our chances. We tried. We tried our best."