Crosby shines, Ovechkin fizzles in Olympic battle between hockey stars By: Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press 24/02/2010 11:46 PM | Comments: 0 Print E–mail Share This Report Error VANCOUVER - Alex Ovechkin led Sidney Crosby in only one category Wednesday night — he broke two sticks to Crosby's none. But Crosby was a clear winner in the battle of the two hockey superstars in Canada's 7-3 victory over Ovechkin's Russians in the quarter-finals at the 2010 Olympics. While the 22-year-old Crosby was held off the scoresheet, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain still played a solid two-way game and did his part to help win the game. He saw 17 minutes 34 seconds of ice time. Ovechkin was a long way from his usual dazzling self, going without a point and finishing minus-2 despite a team-leading 21:15 of ice time — most of it spent being decidedly unthreatening on attack. Wednesday's game was supposed to showcase Sid the Kid and Alex The Great, but instead it turned into a display of Canadian determination and a disappearing act by the Russians, who were done in by turnovers and weak goaltending from Evgeni Nabokov, who was yanked in the second period after allowing a sixth goal. ''What do you think? I'm disappointed,'' said Ovechkin. ''I think we weren't ready for the first five minutes and when we woke up it was too late," he added. "It was 3-0 and it was hard to come back, especially in that kind of game.'' Ovechkin did not create any exceptional scoring chances, although he ended up with three of his team's 28 shots. And his careless passes in his own zone were picked off by Canadian forecheckers a handful of times. Before the game, there was anticipation that the six-foot-two 230-pound Ovechkin would be cruising for crushing hits like the one he laid on Czech star Jaromir Jagr in round-robin play, but there were none this time. Instead, early in the game Canadian defenceman Shea Weber nailed Ovechkin twice with big hits and Drew Doughty took him solidly into the boards on another occasion. Canadian coach Mike Babcock put together a line of Jonathan Toews, Mike Richards and Rick Nash to face Ovechkin, his Washington teammate Alexander Semin and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and, even though Russia had last line change, got the matchup for much of the night. The Toews line not only held them off, but it provided a goal from Nash. ''We had what it takes to frustrate them,'' said Toews. ''Richie and Nash are both great skaters and they play two-way hockey during the year so they're used to that. ''As long as we kept the puck, that's defence too, when you keep it down in their zone. And we just tried to play hard against them every time they got close to our net.'' At the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, Ovechkin scored the winning goal that eliminated Canada in the quarter-finals, although the Russians also failed to win a medal. And Ovechkin leads Crosby 2-1 in Hart trophies as the NHL's most valuable player. The two are tied with one NHL scoring title apiece. But Crosby leads in Stanley Cups. The Cole Harbour, N.S. native has won one in two trips to the NHL final. Ovechkin hasn't been close to a final, and his Capitals were ousted from the playoffs last spring by Crosby's Penguins.