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Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin team up at All-Star Weekend

No other Penguins made it to Sunrise, so Crosby spent the weekend hanging out with Alex and Sergei Ovechkin.

2023 NHL All-Star - Skills Competition - Breakaway Challenge
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby skate with Sergei Ovechkin during the NHL Breakaway Challenge at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida on February 3.
Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Breakaway Challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition is generally a solo endeavor. This year, for the first time, three players teamed up.

Who would have guessed that duo would be made up of two players who have been rivals since 2005— and one who will be eligible in the 2036 Draft?

2023 NHL All-Star - Skills Competition - Breakaway Challenge
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin watch as Sergei Ovechkin skates toward Robert Luongo on February 3.
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

On Friday night, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby teamed up with Ovechkin’s four-year-old son Sergei to score past a toppling Robert Luongo, earning a perfect score from the judges and claiming the title of 2023 Breakaway Challenge champions.

Ovechkin said Sergei was “most excited” to meet Crosby (and Connor McDavid) when he came to Sunrise this weekend. Sergei even joined Ovechkin and Crosby on the red carpet prior to the challenge.

The feel-good moment was a reminder that the rivalry between these two generational talents, which has been built up by the media and compounded by annual playoff matchups, usually stays the confines of the game— even if it has bubbled up into some very bitter moments over the past few years.

2023 NHL All-Star - Skills Competition - Breakaway Challenge
Crosby and Ovechkin pose for a photo before the breakaway challenge.
Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Sure, Crosby and Ovechkin have differences. There is their teams’ ongoing rivalry (as can be seen on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery after every Penguins win in D.C.) and the fact that the two have “totally different” personalities (as Crosby told Paul Bissonnette on Spittin’ Chiclets in 2020).

Still, they have plenty in common. After all, they have both been the faces of an NHL franchise for 17 years.

That will give them plenty to talk about when they “have a couple of beers together,” as Ovechkin said they would do once retired.

“We’ve always had big games against each other, and obviously always had the microscope on us,” Crosby told reporters later that day. “But to be able to, in a relaxed environment like this, just catch up a bit, it’s nice to share that with him.”

And on the possibility of Ovi matching Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals?

“He’s well on his way to get the record,” Crosby said. “Hopefully he does it.”