The first-ever Stanley Cup playoff showdown between the NHL's top two superstars has lived up to the hype. On Monday night Alexander Ovechkin's Washington Capitals forced a seventh game in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5-4 overtime win at The Igloo (or, if you're a stickler for corporate names, the soon-to-be-replaced Mellon Arena). This, despite the Penguins tying the game on Sidney Crosby's goal with just over 4 minutes left in the third period and putting tremendous pressure on the Caps during a power play in the last two minutes of regulation.
Three of the six games have gone to overtime. All but one has been decided by one goal, and neither team has had a lead of more than two goals in any game in the series. Ovechkin and Crosby are tied for the league lead in playoff goals with 10 each, while Alex the Great leads Sid the Kid 20-18 in total points. (The Penguins have played 12 games in the postseason to the Capitals' 13.) But in case you think either of these teams is a one-man show, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin is third with 17 points, and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin are 5th and 6th in points, respectively. And it's not just the stars who are contributing. The Capitals' David Steckel -- who missed an open net in the first minute of OT in Game 5, won by the Pens minutes later -- redeemed himself by deflecting home a point shot to win Game 6.
Game 7 is Wednesday night in Washington at 7 pm ET and can be seen in the USA on Versus. If you reveled in the excellence that was the NBA Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls playoff series, you should be watching this one as well.