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

80n00kdispottedsome After Mario Lemieux center picked himself off the ice after being slashed by the New York Rangers' Adam Graves earlier in the playoffs the Penguins captain picked up the Stanley Cup in 1992

Penguins' Sidney Crosby has concussion

The scene brought back jarring memories.

He withstood surge after surge and when his teammates finally found their legs late in the third period, Washington found itself on the brink of having another promising season end with a loss to their longtime rivals. His brain foggy. His immediate future uncertain.

To this you can add: Is there anyone who has said no to Crosby except former Penguins employees? He has 1.32 points per game when Crosby is not in the lineup, compared to 1.15 when Crosby dresses.

January 1, 2011 - Crosby is hit in the head by Washington's David Steckel during the Winter Classic, and is hit again in Pittsburgh's next game by Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 shots, rookie Jake Guentzel took advantage of a fortunate bounce for his playoff-leading eighth goal and the defending Stanley Cup champions held off the visiting Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

You can because I can't stop you and I'm not inclined to clean up tea leaves after the fact. We've been friends for a long time.

Crosby knows that the brain can be a amusing and unfunny thing-that recovery doesn't always run a straight line and keep a tight schedule. In Game 3, he willed the Penguins back into the game, scoring their first goal and assisting on Justin Schultz's game-tying goal. They can close out the Capitals on Saturday.

December 5, 2011 - After only eight games back from his concussion, Crosby collides with Boston's David Krejci. The Penguins eventually won on a Nick Bonino goal, and Crosby had his hands all over the result.

Save for a scrap in the second period that amounted to little more than an extended wrestling match between Chris Kunitz and Tom Wilson — who made a run at Kunitz but missed — things stayed relatively tame.

Braden Holtby finished with a sub-.900 save percentage (three goals on 18 shots) for the third time in four games vs. the Pens. Matt Murray, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby are all out.

This, however, is something different.

"I would say our top players didn't play as well as they need to be to be top players", Trotz said. "And we're lucky to have depth on our team. I'm pretty sure we're ready for that".

Niskanen received a five-minute major for cross-checking and a game misconduct.

Ovechkin, meantime, owned his lackluster effort, saying he didn't play his game. Ovechkin is a heck of a hockey player, but when it comes to not advancing in the postseason, Ovechkin gets defended for one reason or another.

"It should be nasty", Washington forward Jay Beagle said. "We played the game hard. Hard hits. Going after each other". If Crosby returns to this series, does he return at that very same level?

"They're still a darn good team, first and foremost", Niskanen said. The Russian has a way of raising his game with Crosby out.

Sullivan declined to divulge lineup changes or revised matchups he might look for with those two players out. He's a hell of a player.

Capitals center Jay Beagle believed things could get “nasty” as the series moved forward.

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. I saw the recovery. The latter has an average of nearly two points per game when Crosby is not in uniform.

The going has been a bit slower for McDavid in his playoff debut.

While the odds are overwhelming with the Penguins while up 3-1, the Capitals are the best team in the National Hockey League and they, of course, have a chance to come back.

The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to get revenge on the Washington Capitals after what happened in game 3. McDavid picks Gretzky's mind frequently.

I WAS ON THE RADIO LOCALLY ON MONDAY AFTERNOON with my pals Rich Roth and Ed Lane, and before they let me go, Rich asked me if I had any good betting tips for this week.

Game 4 should have a lot of the emotion of Game 3.

Ottawa forwards Bobby Ryan (lower body) and Zack Smith (upper body) left the game because of injuries.

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