January 14, 2009
This occurs much of the time when the Penguins and Capitals share a slab of ice as they will Wednesday night at Mellon Arena. hat certainly was the case in Washington's 4-3 victory there Oct. 16, when Ovechkin devoted most of the evening to stalking Malkin and launching his body at him.
"He's gotten run a couple times," Penguins center Sidney Crosby said. "I think [Ovechkin] made a few runs at [Malkin], and [Malkin] handled it the right way. [Malkin] is focused on playing. We shouldn't get caught up with that. We did a good job of not getting caught up in that last time."
There are conflicting stories about why Malkin and Ovechkin have had a friendly rivalry mutate into something so ferocious — the most popular is that it stems from a scuffle between Ovechkin and one of Malkin's Russia-based agents a few years ago — but precedent suggests Malkin would be wise to keep his head up this evening.
Although Malkin, at 6 feet 3, 195 pounds, is capable of absorbing some punishment, Crosby believes the Penguins can't hesitate to intervene if Ovechkin — or any other opponent — crosses the line.