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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Crosby vs Ovechkin -- a rivalry resumes

By Vince Masi

Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin
Sidney Crosby
Crosby
The NHL’s top rivalry resumes Thursday for the first time since the 2011 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day -- Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin -- when the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to play the Washington Capitals.

Crosby was initially hurt last year in that Winter Classic game when he collided with David Steckel, who no longer plays for Washington.

The Capitals have owned the Penguins in regular-season play of late, going 11-0-2 in the past 13 games regardless of who was playing. However, Crosby has won more head-to-head games against Ovechkin in their careers 12-9.

1st OVERALL SELECTIONS
Ovechkin: 1st overall pick in 2004;
Crosby: 1st overall pick in 2005


Both Ovechkin and Crosby came into the league at the same time in 2005. Ovechkin was the top overall pick in 2004, Crosby the top pick the following year. Ovechkin won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 2005-06 with 52 goals and 106 points.

AWARD WINNERS
Both have won Art Ross (leading point scorer), Hart (MVP) and Maurice Richard Trophies (leading goal scorer)

They each have won an Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading point scorer, a Hart Trophy as league MVP and the Maurice Richard trophy as the league's leading goal scorer. Of course, Crosby also took home a gold medal in 2010, knocking out Ovechkin and Russia in the quarters.

PLAYOFFS
Penguins def. Capitals in 7 games in 2009 Conference Semis (Crosby: 13 Pts; Ovechkin: 14 Pts)

The two teams met in the playoffs once during a memorable seven-game series in the 2009 Conference Semifinals. Ovechkin had more points than Crosby, but Crosby and the Pens won the series in 7 games and eventually the Stanley Cup.

LAST MATCHUP
Crosby: injured in collision with David Steckel in 2011 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day

Thursday is the first time the two have faced off on the ice since New Year's Day at Heinz Field. Crosby collided with David Steckel and finished the game. Crosby would take another hit in the next game and didn't play again until November 21.