Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Concussed Crosby skates with Penguins, no word on return

Concussed Crosby skates with Penguins, no word on return

Despite letting in three goals on 33 shots, Marc-Andre Fleury was solid in net and came up big many times.

"The best way to make them pay was winning and we did that tonight", Fleury said. Couple Washington's inefficiency with the fact that the Pens were down two noted starters, and Game 4 belonged to Pittsburgh long before the final score - and the intensity of the game's final minutes - suggested things might swing the other direction. Outscoring them is another matter entirely.

Justin Schultz scored in a second straight game and Patric Hornqvist picked up his third of the postseason as Pittsburgh took a 3-1 lead in the series.

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins were a puck-hogging, ice-tilting blur last spring, overwhelming opponents with an avalanche of shots and sustained offensive pressure that ended with the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup.

"We win games different ways", coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's a competitive guy".

"Are they targeted? I don't think that's ever changed", said Shero, now the GM of the New Jersey Devils.

Consider the Capitals believers.

In reality, the Capitals blitzed the Penguins for most of the game, but Pittsburgh executed better. And yet all those opportunities have translated into just one victory. "I think he could say the same thing about me, that we were good teammates and got along well". "Our backs are against the wall". The Capitals had to win three more games but that seemed quite doable, given that they were the Presidents' Trophy winners and Crosby's void in the Penguins' lineup is one that can't be filled with available flesh.

The second goal was all luck, as Jake Guentzel centered a pass towards the front of the net that found Dmitry Orlov's skate and promptly found the net off the redirection. Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington with four goals, T.J. Oshie has seven assists and Alex Ovechkin has 38 shots on goal.

The Capitals saw significant upgrades to their blue line over the past few seasons, adding Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik during the summer of 2014 and trading for Kevin Shattenkirk at the trade deadline in 2017. When a guy like that goes down, everybody wants to do it for him, because he obviously puts it on the line every single night for us and usually carries us to victory the way he plays.

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"Our top players didn't play as well as they needed to", Trotz said.

Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel countered that Beagle's assertion that Niskanen's shot was "clean" made Beagle "an idiot". Throw in 20 OTs and it has been a wild post season. The "Mario Kart" showdown Beagle wanted will have to wait too.

An emotional and energetic start and a dash of luck allowed Pittsburgh to build a 2-0 lead. He moved in and lifted the puck over Holtby's left pad.

The Penguins didn't keep that advantage for good, but Hornqivst said the first goal always sets the tone.

The Capitals will face a Crosby-less Penguins team Wednesday night, but Ovechkin expects Evgeni Malkin to step up and fill that void.

The Penguins are already minus defenceman Kris Letang (neck surgery) and goaltender Matt Murray (lower-body injury). We've the live stream details to watch game four on May 3 at 7:30pm EST.

Disregard that the play may have been crucial to deciding a game in a close playoff series between Pittsburgh and Washington. Sullivan said it was an option, but only really in the context of everything being on the table, so we'll see if it happens.

December 2011: Played eight games before being removed from lineup with concussion symptoms, the result of a suspected elbow to the head by Boston's David Krejci.

Drake Caggiula, Connor McDavid and Milan Lucic scored for Edmonton, and Cam Talbot had 35 saves.

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