The Washington Times - May 8, 2009, 11:26PM

So Simeon Varlamov is human after all, but this 5-3 victory isn’t all on him. Yeah, he played the worst game of his breif NHL postseason career, but he also still made several fantastic saves.

In short, this was a 5-3 hockey game. Maybe Varlamov should have stopped a couple of shots he didn’t, but the Penguins probably could have scored in a couple of other instances because of defensive breakdowns in front of the goalie.


“He struggled,” said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. “He’s human, and he hasn’t had a bad game. … He’ll bounce back. He’s a competitive guy.”

Boudreau said Varlamov will be in net tomorrow night.

As for the other hot topic of the night, Penguins players were not happy about Alex Ovechkin’s knee-on-knee collison with Sergei Gonchar. The Penguins’ top defenseman did not return and is questionable for Game 5.

“It’s tough to call on a live play but we saw the replays after that and he sticks his leg out,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “Hopefully, the league takes action on it. That’s not my job, but we were pretty frustrated by the whole thing.”

Ovechkin did show what seemed like pretty genuine remorse about the incident. For some reason it was called tripping and not kneeing by the officials, but even No. 8 said it was a knee-on-knee hit.

“I try to hit him and he try to move to his left and I don’t have time to realize what is going on,” Ovechkin said. “I’m not the kind of player who wants to injure players, especially I know [Gonchar]. Yeah, it was probably knee-on-knee, but I try to hit him with my shoulder. … It was accident.”

When asked about potential further action by the league, Ovechkin said, “I don’t know what is going to happen, but what do I say? I didn’t want to him … I mean I wanted to hit him, but I didn’t want to hurt him, especially knee-on-knee. I think that is dirty hit, and it is not my play.”