Minus Crosby, Penguins edge Capitals 3-2 to take 3-1 lead

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game 5 - potentially the series-clinching affair for the Pittsburgh Penguins - will go Saturday night at Verizon Center.

"I was about 20 feet away from the TV".

"At first I thought it was Bryan Rust".

Crosby was cross-checked in the head in Monday's Game 3 by Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen, a former Penguin.

The Niskanen hit was a clear violation of the rules, resulting in a player cross-checked to the head and, as a outcome, suffering a concussion. They're dead already, before they even hit rock bottom.

"When I saw the replay, honestly, I felt ill ..." "That's one that you really feel for him". We've been friends for a long time.

Ray Shero pauses. Normally one of the most articulate GMs in the sport, he is struggling to find the words.

Alexander Ovechkin managed just two shots and Washington's power play went 0 for 4. He was a stand-up captain for Ray Shero.

When pressed about whether or not it was a dirty play, Ovechkin repeated that it was a hockey play.

And now, to see this. Matt Murray, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby are all out.

The Capitals tied it within a 72-second span later in the second.

"He's one of the best players in the league and when he plays like he did tonight with that aggressiveness and physicality, he kind of pushes the whole team to move forward with him".

"He was out of school for two months", Ray Shero recounted.

If you're a son lucky enough to have his father around still, take a moment to consider (and appreciate) whatever that game of hockey is with your dad. "Having gone through that as a parent, well ..." They're not getting ahead of themselves, especially without Crosby.

Law enforcement tribute in Lexington
Public Safety Officer Michael Ventura died in the line of duty on July 8, 2016, following a tragic automobile accident. The name of Nick Rodman will also be etched into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"Sid skated this morning". It's going to be tough to replace (him). There didn't appear to be any limitations on either of them during practice.

In separate interviews with Pittsburgh-area media outlets early in 2012, both Crosby and Chris Shero discussed how they leaned on each other during their respective recoveries. "I'm pretty sure we're ready for that". "We talked about how things were".

"And we weren't able to kill a penalty".

"People are going to want to fantasize, 'Well, maybe it's Ovechkin.' That's a bit of a stretch for me".

For years, Eric Lindros had preached open-mindedness when it came to seeking concussion treatments.

That was six years ago, yet here we are now and the same story seems to be playing out once again. He's not the only Penguin out with a concussion as forward Conor Sheary, 24, suffered the same fate after colliding with teammate Patric Hornqvist, 30, in the second period during game three, leaving his fate for the fourth game against the Caps uncertain.

"We had good chances and we didn't bury them", Washington coach Barry Trotz said. His parents. His sister.

As far as the line combinations, the Penguins have a couple of different ways they could go.

If Sidney Crosby felt like he was good to skate, he's free to exercise that choice.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 shots and rookie Jake Guentzel took advantage of a fortunate bounce to earn his league-leading eighth goal of the playoffs and the defending Stanley Cup champions held off the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. "More or less (it's a) first reaction".

The most impressive thing about this Penguins team, though, has been their ability to withstand the numerous potentially disastrous injuries that have occurred this season.

For Ray Shero, the answer is yes. They were in the offensive zone a lot, putting 38 shots on goal and attempting 72 shots in total. "I think that's great". "Look at the Flyers-Boston final of 1974".

So is the chameleon-like evolution of his team, seemingly game to game. First, it's obvious that Evgeni Malkin, who leads the playoffs in scoring, is going to have to continue to play the way he has, even better.

I don't buy that he meant to smash his stick across Crosby's noggin. "Back then, players patrolled and policed themselves". But you can count on Ovechkin shouldering most of the load if this series ends in five short games. Instead they hit the Capitals where it could hurt the most.

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