NHL - Scoop Du Jour

Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin isn't shy about throwing his body around, but seems to take particular delight in doing it when his target is Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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