The View From Pittsburgh

Win Even Sweeter for Pittsburgh With Ovechkin on the Ice

By Ron Cook
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sunday, May 10, 2009; 12:12 AM

WASHINGTON -- Well, aren't you glad the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin played last night? Didn't that make the Penguins' 4-3 overtime win that much more fun? Isn't it better to beat him in his own house and put his team on the edge of playoff elimination than to do it with him serving a suspension and giving the Capitals some sort of lame excuse?

Absolutely, it's better.

"Definitely, it's better," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said in the immediate, joyous aftermath of teammate Evgeni Malkin's winning goal, just 3:28 into the extra session.

It was pretty clear all of the Penguins thought that way after this throbbing Game 5 win, their third victory in four nights in the series. It gave them a three games-to-two edge and the chance to turn out the lights on the Capitals' season in Game 6 tomorrow night at Mellon Arena.

Much work remains to be done, of course.

Much, much work.

"The fourth win is always the hardest to get," Penguins star Sidney Crosby always says.

But know this:

The Penguins will be especially thrilled if they can turn out the lights on Ovechkin tomorrow night.

You know, at the scene of the crime.

The Penguins were outraged that Ovechkin took out their top defenseman, Sergei Gonchar, with a wicked knee-on-knee hit early in Game 4 at Mellon Arena Friday night. Gonchar sat out last night and might be finished for the postseason. Who knows for sure the way all NHL clubs guard their injury secrets?

Orpik -- Gonchar's defensive partner -- was especially incensed, accusing Ovechkin of taking frequent runs at him, Gonchar and the other Penguins with the intent to injure. But he wasn't the least bit surprised that league officials, after reviewing tape of the hit on Gonchar, didn't fine Ovechkin, let alone suspend him for what the Penguins screamed was a blatant cheap shot.

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