NHL sophomore standouts Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin teamed up over a week ago in the All-Star game on the Eastern Conference's starting line. But now they're back on opposite sides of the ice as Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins host Ovechkin's Washington Capitals on Saturday in a matchup of teams heading in very different directions.
The Penguins (25-17-8) are going for their season-high sixth straight win, while the Capitals (21-24-7) are trying to break out of a slump of seven losses in nine games. Despite the stark contrast in recent results, Crosby and Ovechkin are having similarly stellar seasons.
Crosby leads the league with 57 assists and 82 points, while Ovechkin has a league-high 33 goals and has 70 points. Crosby is riding an eight-game point streak with four goals and 13 assists, helping the Penguins compile an impressive 7-0-1 mark in that span.
He has four goals and seven assists in five career games against the Capitals, with Pittsburgh going 4-1 in those games.
Ovechkin, who edged out Crosby for last season's Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, has three goals and five assists in those matchups with the Penguins and has recorded a point in every game of 2007. His 13-game point streak is the longest in the NHL this season, and the Russian has eight goals and 12 assists during that stretch.
Ovechkin scored one goal for the East in its 12-9 loss to the West, but Crosby failed to record a point. He enjoyed playing with his contemporary, though, as both made their first appearances in the big game.
"It was nice. There's always so many comparisons. But for me, I think with my game I'm more of a playmaker and I think Alex is more of a shooter," Crosby told the team's official Web site. "It was great passing to someone like that. It would have been nice to set him up, but I couldn't get him the puck too often. Hopefully we get another crack at it and see what happens."