On this date in NHL history, the Washington Capitals played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the 2009 playoffs. Game Two would go down as one of the greatest playoff games of the Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby era.
Both future Hall of Famers scored a hat trick in what is now known as the Dueling Hat Tricks Game.
The Capitals won the game 4-3. Dave Steckel was the only other player not named Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby to score.
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ON THIS DAY in #StanleyCup Playoffs history: In 2009, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby went goal-for-goal in the Second Round. The dueling hat tricks goes down as one of the most thrilling moments in recent playoff memory.
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“It’s good for the fans to see great players play against each other and two great teams play against each other,” a 23-year-old Ovechkin said then according to the NHL. “It’s an interesting time and an interesting game. It’s unbelievable when you play against great players and you win a game like this.”
Ovechkin’s first goal of the game came after some nifty passing by fellow Russians Sergei Fedorov and Viktor Kozlov. Ovechkin one-timed a shot past Marc Andre-Fleury to tie the game 1-1.
Later in the third period, Ovechkin scored twice in two minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
After Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff back to Mike Green, the former Capitals defenseman slide the puck over to Ovechkin who one-timed the puck past MAF from near his office. Only two seconds had elapsed on the powerplay before Ovechkin scored.
The goal gave the Caps a 3-2 lead.
Ovechkin scored his hat trick goal on his next even-strength shift, going one-on-one with Sergei Gonchar and using the defenseman as a screen.
The Russian machine jumped gleefully into Sergei Fedorov’s arms triggering a raucous celebration with his Capitals teammates.
The goal gave the Caps a 4-2 lead.
“The place was rocking because it looked like this was going to be the time that they were going to put the demons to rest,” NBC Sports play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick said to NHL.com. “Leaving the ice that night they had to be thinking, ‘I think we might have this now.'”
Sidney Crosby scored once every period, including a goal with 30.4 seconds left to bring the Penguins within one.
18,277 fans were at Verizon Center that day to watch the Capitals take a 2-0 lead in the series. They would lose the next three games to the Penguins before tying the series with a Dave Steckel goal in overtime in Game Six. The Penguins would win Game Seven 6-2 and go on to win the Stanley Cup.
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