Penguins star Crosby leaves game following hit to head

Author

03 May, 2017

The Penguins captain will miss at least Wednesday's Game 4 of their second-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Niskanen will not be disciplined for the hit.

Crosby was struck in the helmet by the stick of Washington star Alex Ovechkin and was falling off-balance to the ice when he was hit solidly in the head by Niskanen.

"I like his physicality", said Neely.

Crosby entered the game tied for second in scoring for Pittsburgh with 11 points, including two goals in Pittsburgh's Game 1 victory over Washington. What Crosby's exact injury was remained unclear as the rest of the action unfolded. They hung in an ugly game and scored two six-on-five goals at the end of regulation to force overtime. They've rolled on through the loss of Kris Letang, their top defensemen. Crosby is irreplaceable. If the Caps come back to win this series, or if the Pens fall in the next round or in the Finals, you will never be able to convince me that Crosby's absence wasn't the reason why.

Niskanen, who played with Crosby for four years in Pittsburgh before signing with Washington in 2014, turned toward Crosby. Both goals came with an extra skater on the ice after Pittsburgh emptied its net.

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Capitals coach Barry Trotz asserted there was nothing sinister involved.

"When a game doesn't go your way, there's a few more areas you're a little more focused on". "I thought we did a good job. They won't announce anything today I'm sure".

The game was scoreless early in the first period when Crosby skated just outside the Capitals' crease.

Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov staked Washington to a 2-0 lead. He then assisted on Justin Schultz's first playoff goal, at 18:55 of the third.

From there, the next goalie who cracked would be the loser in a game of few goaltending mistakes. He, too left the ice and didn't return. Shattenkirk ended the game:33 later with a blast from the high slot. "We have actual players who have played the game, not people who haven't played the game and don't know the situation and how you would react". Inexplicably dressing seven defenseman, the bad move looked pretty smart when Matt Niskanen was ejected just several minutes into the game. Niskanen is absolved of any wrongdoing because reckless play is accepted.

At this point, the Washington Capitals could have quit. But Crosby's concussion leaves them without the centrepiece of their offence as the Capitals look to even the series. The girls game will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game to follow at 8.


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