Danny and Brad were there! Penguins @ Capitals from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. 10 November 2017

Last Spring the Penguins sent the Capitals home from the Stanley Cup Playoff for the second straight year en route to hoisting the trophy. The Washington captain and the Shittsburgh captain entered the league as the number one overall draft pick in consecutive years and their careers have been permanently linked. They truly serve as a stark contrast to one another. Russian vs. Canadian. Wing versus center. Hard-nosed hockey player versus preening ice princess. Ovechkin has all the personal accolades and statistical records, Crosby has all the team trophies and “winner’s” hardware.

My contempt for Crosby and the Pens might be detectable in the previous paragraph, but I’m not the only one. The teams hate each other collectively and individually and there’s certainly no love lost between the fans. The hayseeds from the country against the city-dwellers. The blue collar town against . . . whatever color our collars are here. (Can’t be white; we’re not exactly pure.)

All of the above made for an electric environment in downtown DC on Friday night. In honesty, neither team is setting the world on fire this season, but maybe adding a little desperation to the mix contributed to the chemistry. After all games against division foes are by nature a little more important.

The game itself was played with much of the intensity of the playoff series from the last couple seasons. There was a fight, a bunch of penalties, and a record setting performance by the Washington goalie. When the dust settled the Caps had the home victory 4-1. Braden Holtby became the second fastest goalie to win 200 games in the history of the NHL doing it in his 319th game. The Caps benefitted from the whistle and CAPITAL-ized (dad joke!) on the power play opportunities they received.

And I have to draw attention to the fact that Cindy[sic] Crosby fell to -14 on +/- for the year!

Finally, both teams would be in the playoffs if the tournament started today so we might be treated to more of this before it’s all said and done.

Anyway, please enjoy the gallery and video playlist below:

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