Alex and Sid's Dueling Hat TricksS

The NHL got what it wanted—a Crosby/Ovechkin playoff showdown—and the first two games have lived up to the billing. If only they can find a way to make it last longer than two more games.

The Capitals have a 2-0 lead now and Pittsburgh will find itself in a must-win situation at home on Wednesday night, but no one can complain that the two superstars have not delivered so far. The two gentlemen traded hat tricks last night and have four goals a piece in the series—and Sidney Crosby was robbed on a "all-time" save by Simeon Varlamov that's been replayed everywhere, so there's been more than enough to talk about.

The "can you top this" vibe going on in Game 2 certainly raises hopes for more competitive wackiness in games to come. Crosby actually complained to officials after Capitals fans caused two hat-tossing delays in celebration of Alexander Ovechkin's third, but something tells me Sid the Kid wouldn't mind returning the favor back in Pittsburgh. And he'll probably have to if the series is going more than four games—which is something the NHL desperately needs. A seven-gamer between these two teams—and these two players—doesn't even have to be on par with Celtics-Bulls in order to give the league a new lease on life and put hockey back in the "National Conversation."

Alex and Sid's Dueling Hat TricksS

So either the Penguins need to get their act together or Gary Bettman needs to get some crooked officials in there ASAP.

Crosby, Ovechkin stage an epic battle [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
Ovechkin, Crosby trade hats; a few too many for Sid in loss [Puck Daddy]
Game 2 Memories: The Crosby Taunters [DC Sports Bog]