During the 2005-2006 season, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin both entered the league together, starting their careers in the NHL. With two generational talents going head-to-head at the same time, a rivalry was bound to happen.
By association, Pittsburgh and Washington started to slowly dislike each other over the years, with the rivalry becoming hot in 2009. Now in 2017, it’s safe to say the Metropolitan Division rivalry has been burning with hate for some time.
When playing against your rival, throwing your opponent off their game can go a long way to a win. Penguins’ Captain Sidney Crosby attempted to do just that. With the puck going behind the net, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby went out to play it. When Hotlby turned around he met the left shoulder of Crosby. On the replay, it looked like Crosby caught part of Holtby’s head. It was a risky move from Crosby, considering the Penguins were on the powerplay at the time. He walked away from a penalty on the play, much to the dismay of the Capitals’ faithful. With the shenanigans happening in the early going in the first period, Crosby may have been trying to send a message to the Washington bench.
Holtby would later retaliate with a swift chop to the back of the leg but Pittsburgh would leave Washington with a 3-2 victory. Ovi would get a goal late in the game in an attempt to tie it but the Capitals were unsuccessful. Since it’s only October, the pressure is starting to build between these teams once again, which could potentially erupt with another playoff matchup in April.