Both Teams Get What They Deserve

Washington's Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring the first goal of Wednesday night's Game 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nicklas Backstrom's first goal of the postseason tied the game to force overtime, but the Penguins won on Kris Letang's goal.
By Mike Wise
Thursday, May 7, 2009

PITTSBURGH Alex, your goalie, Simeon Varlamov, he was great, no?

"I don't want to talk about Varlamov. Sorry."


"I don't want to talk about referee too."


"I don't want to talk about it."

Swine flu?

"I don't want to talk about it."

All right, Alex Ovechkin wasn't asked about a possible pandemic, probably because one was essentially breaking out among the Capitals in Game 3, a one-sided encounter Washington inoculated itself from truly taking part in.

This old, drafty house, built in 1961, made famous by Mario Lemieux, rented by Jaromir Jagr and refurbished nicely by Sidney Crosby, exploded with sound just after 10 p.m. Shaped like and still called the Igloo, naming rights notwithstanding, it roiled with noise made by these howling people waving white, terry-cloth towels, all of whom deserved the bounce-back victory given to them by their team.

Pittsburgh deserved to win Game 3 at least 19 times more than the Capitals.

When the other guys outshoot Washington 42-23 and make sensational Simeon go up, down, in, out and back again -- until the Caps' kid goalie conducted an aerobics class in the crease -- something had to get through. Outhit, outhustled and completely outplayed, the Caps couldn't have justified going up 3-0 in this increasingly entertaining Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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