What you may already know is that the Penguins were up 2-0 after the first period, thanks to a couple goals from Sidney Crosby, eventually held a 3 goal lead, but were then rocked by an Ovie hat trick that brought the game to 4-4 and sent the contest to overtime, where Ovie rang the pipe for the game winning assist to finish the 5-4 comeback victory.
What you may not know is that while the Caps were playing the Penguins, the 'lil Caps', aka the Hershey Bears, were playing the 'lil Pens', aka the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins; nothing crazy there, but get this: the 'lil Penguins' took a 2-0 lead after 1 period, eventually grew their lead to 3 goals, then succumbed to a Bears rally led by a Mathieu Perrault hat trick that brought the game to 4-4 and sent the game to OT, where Perrault had the assist on the game winning goal to cap the Bears 5-4 comeback victory. You can't make this stuff up. The Caps have now won 14 in a row (and 17 out of 18), with the NHL record of 17 looming. The Bears have won 10 in a row, and 22 of their last 23 dating back to December 12th. While this doesn't quite make up for game 7 last year, let alone the years of pain at the hands of the Penguins, this sure feels pretty amazing.
One thing this game did clear up for a few idiots in the rest of the world is that Alex Ovechkin is the best player in hockey, hands down. Sure Crosby captained a cup winning team last year and stepped up with 2 first period goals in this huge game, but Ovie took over the contest. Big players make big plays in big games, and Ovie rose to the occasion. Although the hat trick and game winning assist should be all the evidence you need, Crosby was virtually non-existent after the first period, whereas Ovie only seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.
Count Mike Milbury among the potential converts, as he proclaimed after the 1st period that Crosby's 2 goals were his way of saying, "'Hey Ovi, I'm still your daddy right now?'" Milbury also said Crosby's performance was "pretty special in the first period." Too bad his performance was pretty ordinary in the 2nd, 3rd, and overtime periods, when Ovie proceeded to show Crosby who the best player in the league is. As you may have heard, Milbury completely ducked this question in the following intermissions, and when asked about the comment by a Caps blogger, ended up in a physical fight. At this point, if you don't think the 2-time defending league MVP is the best player in the world, then you are a blatant homer or hold some irrational bias. Ovie is averaging almost 1/3 of a point per game more than any other player in the league - that is absurd! I understand that it can get boring having the same guy win MVP every year (see Malone, Karl over Jordan, Michael for MVP in 1997), but when one guy is the best player year in and year out, then he deserves the award every season.
This may not mean much if we implode in the playoffs, but for one sweet, sweet day, the Caps organization showed the entire Penguins organization who's their daddy.
(Image courtesy of AP via Japers Rink)