- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT MELLON ARENA

PITTSBURGH — Hockey will be played only one more season at the place nicknamed “The Igloo.” And that’s a great thing.

Quoting one Pennsylvania native among the Capitals traveling media corps, this arena is an “eyesore.” There are wires hanging from the ceiling that don’t appear to serve a purpose, most of the orange seats appear to have been installed when the building opened in 1961, and the visitors locker room is roughly the size of a shoebox.

“I need a ticket to get in here,” Sergei Fedorov said while weaving through the media members after the morning skate. …

In the dressing room, Caps goalie Jose Theodore is the only player without a true locker. He’s tucked in the corner with his nameplate on the wall and a folding chair. On the white board were the Penguins lines from Game 2 plus the Tuesday morning schedule: 10:45 — power play meeting, 10:53 — everybody, 11:00 — optional. Yes, the Caps’ power-play session lasted eight minutes. …

The Pittsburgh locker room isn’t much bigger. The first cubicle when you walk in belongs to Mario Lemieux, the second to Sidney Crosby. This allows Crosby to do his media scrum without dominating his teammates’ space. …

The Penguins did the traditional “White Out” for Game 3, and the Caps should follow suit. For their next home game, the Caps should hand out white towels — it looks a lot better on television than red towels.

Ryan O’Halloran

BY THE NUMBERS

5-8 Record for the Capitals when holding a 2-1 series lead.

THREE STARS

Kris Letang

His first goal of the playoffs won it in OT

Simeon Varlamov

He was splendid (39 saves) in a losing effort

Nicklas Backstrom

First goal of the playoffs forced OT

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