It’s another NHL post-season, and everyone should have predicted another face-off between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. They are meeting for the third straight time in the playoffs, each with a mega-superstar (Sidney Crosby for the Penguins and Alex Ovechkin for the Capitals) on their side. These two players are not only synonymous with their respective teams, but they are for the entire NHL as well. To say that these series have become grudge matches is an understatement. On the Stanley Cup front, there is no comparison.

Crosby and the Penguins have three to Ovechkin and the Capital’s none. Could this be the year where the Capitals break the drought?

The series is dead even after 4 grueling games

In game one, the high-flying Capitals, who had just won four straight games in their first-round series, were buzzing around the ice outplaying the Penguins and taking a lead into the third period. In a crushing blow to the hometown DC fans, the Penguins suddenly scored three goals within five minutes and the Capital’s hot streak was over.

Game two saw a hard-fought battle with the Capitals roaring back to a 4-1 victory, to tie the series 1-1.

The match was not without controversy with an apparent goal for the Penguins being ruled a no-goal, even after review. The Penguins were none too happy to be heading back to Pittsburgh with the series even.

As the series came back to Pittsburgh, the Penguins had to feel good about their chances to take the lead in the series, but Capitals hitman Tom Wilson stood in the Penguin’s way, and Capital’s ace scorer, Alex Ovechkin put the Penguins on ice with the winning goal coming in the last minutes of the game.

With the Capitals up 2-1 in the series, the Penguins knew it was go time. Sidney Crosby did too, and his prolific presence was felt in every aspect of the match that carried the Penguins to a 3-1 series-tying win in game four.

Now the Penguins head back to Washington for game five with the series even.

There’s already controversy in the series

In addition to the apparent Pittsburgh goal being disallowed in game two, there was the massive hit administered by the Capital’s Tom Wilson to the Penguin’s Zach Aston-Reese in game three. The collision sent Wilson over the wall and into the Capital’s bench and sent Aston-Reese to the ice with a broken jaw. The Penguin’s fans, already prone to booing Wilson, went wild.

Capital fans saw an unfortunate but clean hit and Penguin fans were calling out a dirty head-hunter.

The league agreed with the Penguins and Wilson was suspended for three games that included the Penguin series-tying game four win. Things are sure to get more testy as we head into the final stretch of the series.