Ovechkin and Crosby Each Tally Hat Tricks in Game 2
When the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins were slated to play each other in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the talk was of course centered on how Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby would perform. Well the two biggest young stars of the NHL lived up to their billing on Monday night, as each one got the first playoff hat trick of his young career. Ovechkin got a bit more help, as the Capitals were able to hold onto their lead and win 4-3, extending their series margin to 2-0.
Crosby got the first goal of the game, as he did in game 1. It came on the power play on a pass from Sergei Gonchar six and a half minutes into the opening period. The score remained 1-0 Pittsburgh until two minutes into the second, when Ovechkin scored on assists from Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov. Crosby retailed midway through the period to regain the lead for the Penguins. The Capitals David Steckel then got the only goal of the evening for a player not named Crosby or Ovechkin about 16 minutes into the period to once again bring the Capitals even.
The score was tied at 2 thirteen minutes into the third when Ovechkin got his second of the evening, again on the power play. This was right off the face off and Ovechkin somehow managed to be wide open at the top of the opposite circle, where he sent in a blasting one timer for the first Capitals lead of the game. Three minutes after that, Ovechkin found himself with open ice skating one on one against defensemen Sergei Gonchar when a lightning quick snap of the wrists gave him his third goal of the night and a 4-2 Capitals lead. The hat trick came assisted once again by Kozlov and Fedorov.
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With their goalie pulled from the game and also enjoying a late power play, Crosby got his hat trick to pull the game tighter after taking four shots at the puck and finally hitting it out of midair and past goaltender Simeon Varlamov. With only thirty seconds left however it would be too little too late, and the Capitals would hang on to seal the win.
Game 3 of this thrilling Eastern Conference semifinal series will be Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.
By Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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