Sid destined for Olympic team?

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby started to blush, his face turning the same shade of red as a Team Canada jersey.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Boy Wonder had just been informed that Mario Lemieux, his teammate, boss, land lord and mentor, had offered to give up his spot on the Canadian Olympic team to Crosby or any other young player who might be performing better when the selections are made next month.

In making his brash statement Monday, Lemieux suggested Team Canada officials should closely keep an eye on Crosby's progress, feeling Sid the Kid likely will be an Olympic staple for many years to come.

"I'm not worried about it," Crosby said. "I'm pretty young and it's not really for me to decide.

"Obviously I want to play well and help my team. If (Team Canada officials) are interested, it would be a dream come true.

"But by no means am I expecting to be invited. That's pretty far fetched right now."

For the time being, Crosby will settle for the contentment of a 5-4 Penguins' victory over the Washington Capitals, a game in which he and Alexander Ovechkin went head to head for the first time in their NHL careers.

It had been 323 days since their only previous meeting, Canada's gold-medal winning 6-1 victory over the Russians in the title game of the world junior championship in North Dakota.

Ovechkin was knocked out of that game with an injured right shoulder by a physical Canadian team that was not to be denied.

And Ovechkin found himself in the middle of the rough stuff in the early going last night, too.

On the first shift of the game, he became tangled with Mark Recchi and slugged the Pens forward in the head. The two exchanged words as they skated back into the Washington end, resulting in an eventual scrum.

Ovechkin was wearing an ice pack on that same right shoulder after the game, a souvenir of his run-in with Recchi.

"(Crosby and Ovechkin) played great," Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig said. "It's the first time I've played against Crosby and he's special. But we've got something special, too. These two are going to play against each other many more times. It's going to be something special."

Crosby had a goal and a helper last night, while Ovechkin registered an assist.


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