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Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin face off tonight going in different directions

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 01: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby #81 of the Pittsburgh Penguins are seperated by a referee during the 2011 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic at Heinz Field on January 1, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Washington won 3-1. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Surprised that there’s not more heat for tonight’s Capitals-Penguins game in D.C.? We are too.

After all, Sidney Crosby gets to face off against the team that essentially knocked him out of action last season in the Winter Classic while Alex Ovechkin... Well, there’s Alex Ovechkin looking less-than awesome of late.

Crosby’s return to action has been everything it’s hoped to be. He’s looked fast, brilliant, and he’s scoring points in bunches. Meanwhile, Ovechkin’s struggles have been more than highlighted this season. Now with Bruce Boudreau out and Dale Hunter in, if ever there was a time for Ovechkin to announce his presence as a big time scorer once again, doing it against the Penguins would be a great time to do it.

The drama and hype that surrounds these two teams often makes fans pull their hair out, but tonight’s game couldn’t be more dramatic for a regular season game. Two megastars in two distinctly different places career-wise while their teams are dealing with drama of their own. The Pens have been rolling right along while the Caps have been on a roller coaster of emotion this season. Amazing how the teams mimic their stars’ production, isn’t it?

It’s the first of a handful of meetings between these two teams and these two stars, but if there was ever a time to have both stars blow up in big ways, this is it.