- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2009

No. 2 Washington Capitals at No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins


Penguins LW Ruslan Fedotenko

Fedotenko, a native of Ukraine, was easily forgotten before this showdown because of all the star power, especially from Russia. But he has usurped David Steckel as the best of all the nonstars in this series. He has a goal in three straight games and led everyone with 10 shots in Game 5. He has even had a few big hits. Pittsburgh’s other wings on the top two lines haven’t been great, but Fedotenko has been a huge plus.

Capitals RW Viktor Kozlov

Kozlov has been all but invisible in four of the five games in this series. He had two assists and four shots in Game 2 but had one shot or less in the other four despite playing with Alex Ovechkin and either Sergei Fedorov or Nicklas Backstrom. The Caps need more scoring from the other three lines, but they also could use another strong effort from Kozlov.



The Penguins will be trying their best to close this series out at home. Still, this series has been one for the history books, with every game full of twists and defining moments. Four of the five games have been decided by one goal — two in overtime — and all of the games have been in doubt for at least the first 55 minutes. Doesn’t everyone in the hockey community outside of Pittsburgh want to see this series go the distance?


When the Caps have struggled to score enough this season, there have been a few problems that have consistently rotated: not enough traffic, too cute on the power play and a lack of secondary scoring. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have 10 of the team’s 15 goals in this series. It’s time for more secondary scoring again.


Nothing has been more divisive about this Washington playoff run than the play of defenseman Mike Green. Is he concentrating on his defensive play, or is he just not playing well? He has nine points but only one goal and less than two shots a game and too many turnovers of late. When he has been aggressive in the past two games, Green has had a much bigger impact. It might be time for him just to go first and ask questions later.

— Corey Masisak



First line

Chris Kunitz

Sidney Crosby

Bill Guerin

Second line

Ruslan Fedotenko

Evgeni Malkin

Max Talbot

Third line

Matt Cooke

Jordan Staal

Tyler Kennedy

Four line

Pascal Dupuis

Craig Adams

Miroslav Satan


First pair

Brooks Orpik

Alex Goligoski/Philippe Boucher

Second pair

Hal Gill

Rob Scuderi

Third pair

Mark Eaton

Kris Letang


Marc-Andre Fleury

Mathieu Garon



First line

Alex Ovechkin

Nicklas Backstrom

Viktor Kozlov

Second line

Brooks Laich

Sergei Fedorov

Alexander Semin

Third line

Boyd Gordon

David Steckel

Matt Bradley

Fourth line

Tomas Fleischmann

Jay Beagle

Chris Clark


First pair

Shaone Morrisonn

Mike Green

Second pair

Tom Poti

Milan Jurcina

Third pair

John Erskine

Brian Pothier


Simeon Varlamov

Jose Theodore

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