Ovechkin: 'Pretty special' to play with Crosby in All-Star Game
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have played dozens of regular-season and playoff games against each other since breaking into the NHL together in 2005.
The longtime rivals and respective captains of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have also shared the ice at All-Star Games before. But with each superstar in his mid-30s, they know this trip could be their last together.
They took advantage of it, with Ovechkin setting up Crosby for two goals Saturday in the lone game of the All-Star 3-on-3 tournament their Metropolitan Division team got to play.
“I think we have fun to play together, not against each other,” Ovechkin said, flashing his gap-toothed smile. "Right now, we (were) on the same team, and it was pretty special, pretty good moment.”
Crosby, who also had the secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal, did not expect to get the puck back. That's not unreasonable given Ovechkin has built a career on scoring and is only 82 goals back of Wayne Gretzky's NHL career record.
“I was thinking I just did my job: gave it to him,” said Crosby, whose career numbers are so close to Ovechkin's that he has just five more points overall. "I thought he was just going finish it, but he was kind enough to send me a couple back. We had some nice goals there.”
Not enough to win the 3-on-3 semifinal against the Atlantic, which beat the Central in the final. Ovechkin lamented not scoring more and took some jabs at his goalie teammates for a day: fellow Russians Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers and Ilya Sorokin of the Islanders.
“Obviously goalie could play better,” Ovechkin said.
Crosby and Ovechkin being together at All-Star weekend for the first time since 2018 was one of the themes of the weekend, given how they shared the stage as faces of the NHL for much of their careers. But they don't want this to be a Sid and Ovi swan song and could do this again as soon as next year when the festivities are in Toronto.
AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.
Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno
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