Ovechkin Assisted by Malkin in Breakaway Challenge Win

Allen PopelsCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2009

It was teased for weeks on television ads on the NHL Network, Versus, and even during an NFL Playoff game on NBC.  After winning last season's breakaway challenge, what would Ovechkin do for an encore this time around?

At first Ovie tried to recreate "The Goal".  His spectacular shot he scored while lying on his back during his rookie season in Phoenix, then a fancy between the legs shot hit off the crossbar.  After another failed attempt at picking the puck up with his stick, Ovechkin finally got serious, or silly depending on how you look at it.

Ovie sought out some help from a fellow Russian, but not the one you'd think.  "Kovalchuk was supposed to help me.  But Kovy said let's do Malkin, give me water, put my hat, clean my sunglasses and give me his stick.  So I think it's pretty fun."

Armed with his props and two sticks, Ovechkin set his sights on a goal.  He passed the puck between both sticks before finally throwing Malkin's stick aside and shooting with his own.  Technically his shot failed again as he was stopped on his initial shot before putting home the rebound, but it didn't matter.

For the second straight year Ovechkin had won the breakaway challenge without even scoring.  No matter what his results were, he entertained and the fans rewarded him for that with 42.8 percent of the votes.

"I think the fans have to see who we are," Ovechkin said.  "They see our skills and I think the last trick was just for fun.  I think fans love it."

With his infectious personality and love of the game it's easy to see why Alex Ovechkin has become one of the most popular players in the NHL today.