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Alex Ovechkin on Sidney Crosby’s return: ‘Good for him’WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin(notes) broke a four-game pointless streak with an assist in Monday night's Washington Capitals win over Phoenix.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby(notes) closed to within 11 points of Ovechkin's season total over 19 games in just his first game of the season.

Over-saturation of the Sidney vs. Ovi rivalry acknowledged, they remain inexorably linked on a night like this. Bob McKenzie of TSN wrote "the biggest win-win tonight for the NHL and game of hockey would be if Crosby and Ovechkin both light it up tonight." Wayne Scanlon of the Ottawa Citizen wondered if Crosby's return would motivate Ovechkin, whose middling season has led to stark criticism.

"I hope that he doesn't need that," said coach Bruce Boudreau, when asked about Crosby's night in Pittsburgh. "I think he's tryin' his butt off out there."

When asked if Crosby's return would motivate him, Ovechkin said "yeah," but followed by saying: "It doesn't matter; Sidney over there, somebody else over there … I have to play my game."

As for Crosby's four-point night in his return to the ice, Ovechkin said: "I didn't see the game, so … it's good for him, coming back from long-term injury. So it's good for him."

More prevalent in Ovechkin's thoughts after the game was the status of Alex Semin, his friend and teammate who was a healthy scratch for the first time under Boudreau on Monday night.

"He's taken penalties seven games in a row. At some point, you have to be accountable for your errors. I don't like doing those things to players that are talented, but everybody's accountable. It was a tough decision, but I thought it was the right decision for the rest of the group," said Boudreau, who was non-committal about Semin's status in the Capitals' next game.

Said Ovechkin on the scratch: "I was surprised at first, but it's not my decision. It's all about coaching. He decided to put him on the bench, so he put him. I don't want to comment about it."

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