It's Magic vs. Bird—On Ice

Alex Ovechkin faces Sidney Crosby in 'nail-biting playoff'... but no one's watching
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2009 10:41 AM CDT
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby and coach Dan Bylsma participate in the NHL hockey team's practice at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – The Capitals-Penguins playoff series, with its two budding superstars, is what the beleaguered NHL has been waiting for, writes Reed Albergotti in the Wall Street Journal. In contrast to the disciplined play of Sidney "Wayne Gretzky" Crosby, Russian phenom Alex Ovechkin is both a firebrand and a goofball. But the matchup, which is only being shown on the Versus cable network, may slip by relatively unseen.

The 21-year-old Crosby and his 23-year-old opponent each scored three goals in Monday's game, but only 1.26 million TV viewers tuned in. But Ovechkin plays like the whole world is watching, celebrating his goals with all the verve of an NFL player and showing off his frightening stamina. The Capitals are up 2-1 in the series.