Caps—Pens Game 5:Gonchar Out, Ovechkin Undisciplined, Crosby Leads

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 9, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 13:  Sidney Crosby #87 and Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skate against the Philadelphia Flyers on January 13, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Flyers 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Sergei Gonchar is out for weeks and Alex Ovechkin did not get disciplined by the NHL for hitting him.

Sidney Crosby is leading Ovechkin in almost all categories. The Capitals rookie goaltender, Simeon Valaramov, no longer looks unbeatable and the Penguins' other superstar Evgeni Malkin is just warming up.

Everyone is watching the Stanley Cup Semifinals, with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins tied with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, is now a best of three series.

So far, both teams have won all their home games. Washington has the home ice advantage for the final three games, if the series goes to seven.

Gonchar is a "game-time" decision, according to his coach, Dan Bylsma, but TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting he will miss several weeks, perhaps even the remainder of the season with "an apparent knee injury."

The Penguins called up rookie defenceman Alex Goligoski from the AHL. Goligoski has six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in 45 contests this season with Pittsburgh.

J.P. Barry, Gonchar's agent, on the controversy, "We now have Exhibit A of the extreme double-standard that exists in the NHL's approach to discipline. Alex clearly cuts back with his knee after missing his check with devastating results. But of course, because it's Alex, its all Sergei's fault.''

Barry told TSN, ''It was an extremely negligent hit and if anyone else in this league does the same we all know they will face serious discipline."

"Part of being 'great' means playing with respect. He is wreckless and this isn't the first or last time he will get a free pass from the NHL, and the best part is he knows it," he concluded.

Dan Rosen of NHL.com says the best player in the series is Crosby, not Ovechkin.

Crosby is tied for the League lead with nine goals and 16 points, and has at least a goal in three of the first four games of the series.

Crosby is the points leader in these playoffs, tied with Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, with 16. Ovechkin is in third place with 14.

Crosby leads in goal scoring, with nine, tied with Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes

Crosby is in second place with seven assists, tied with teammate Evgeni Malkin and Alex Semin of the Capitals. Ovechkin is tenth, with six.

Ovechkin is tied with several others for the lead in the plus/minus category, at seven. Crosby is just one behind, at six.


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