Everyone knows about the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby rivalry. Two generational talents who entered the league the same year playing for rival franchises was a dream scenario for the NHL. That rivalry is so great that it can be easy to overlook some of the other great matchups we see between Ovechkin and other players.
On Sunday, we will be treated to another of Ovechkin’s great rivals as Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers come to Washington (12:30 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).
One of the best goal scorers of all-time against one of the NHL’s top netminders? Yes please.
Ovechkin has won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer seven times in his career and looks well on his way to No. 8 as he leads the league in goals again with 44. He has hit 50 goals seven times and has the most goals among active players with 651. Lundqvist, meanwhile, won the Vezina in 2012 and has a career save percentage of .919. He is sixth all-time in wins with 448.
These two have had epic battles over the years. Ovechkin has scored 24 goals on Lundqvist, tied for the most he has scored against any netminder over the course of his career. He also has another 13 goals in the playoffs against King Henrik. Lundqvist went so far as to call Ovechkin “one of the best goal scorers of all time” in an interview with Esquire.
Another chapter in the rivalry will be written on Sunday. Who will win this round?
Nick Jensen to make his debut
Jensen will make his Capitals debut Sunday against the Rangers after skating in warmups and adjusting to his new team on Saturday. With no morning skate it is unclear who will come out. Christian Djoos was playing right on the third pair which is where Jensen will slot in. Chances are either Djoos or Brooks Orpik will be out.
Pheonix Copley will start Sunday after Braden Holtby got the start Sunday in Buffalo. Copley has won his last three starts with a .908 save percentage.
Home sweet home
The Caps concluded a season-long six-game road trip Saturday in Buffalo. Sunday’s game will be the first in Washington since a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 11. Washington has gone 4-1-1 at home since the All-Star break.
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The Wizards' starting five is gonna look a little different Saturday night.
Bobby Portis will replace Thomas Bryant as Washington's starting center against the Pacers, head coach Scott Brooks told reporters before the game.
Brooks: "We have to see what we have" with Portis.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) February 23, 2019
Unlikely Jabari Parker enters the starting lineup for now, Brooks said
Per Brooks, the Wizards want to "see what we have" in Portis, who will be a restriced free agent this summer.
With his team having lost eight of their last 11, this tweak signals Brooks will be looking to switch it up as the Wizards' playoff hopes begin to dim. Washington sits four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Portis, who came over from the Bulls in the Otto Porter trade, has averaged 17.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in five contests since joining the Wizards. He's been particularly lethal from beyond the arc, knocking down 50 percent of his three-point attempts.
Bryant has filled in admirably as the starting center this season with Dwight Howard dealing with a back injury. In 49 games (43 starts), he's averaged 9.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
For the Pacers, center Myles Turner has been officially ruled out of Saturday's game with a hip injury.
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