So, here we stand. Pittsburgh leads the series 3-1 with Game 5 in Washington on Saturday. While Washington will survive in Game 5 at home, the defending Stanley Cup champions will gain a victory in the series in Game 6. Outscoring them is another matter entirely.
The 29-year-old Crosby led the National Hockey League with 44 goals during the regular season and was recently named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's most valuable player.
Crosby skated at the Penguins practice facility today as he recovers from a concussion.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says Crosby is in the process of rehabbing from the injury, calling it a "day-to-day process". "He's a competitive guy". "I think that we set the tone right away".
Consider the Capitals believers. Teams like the Penguins have two or three layers of potential shot-blockers as part of their defensive-zone coverage, like the teams of Sullivan's friend and colleague John Tortorella, who made laying out on the ice something of an art.
"We have to play like we have nothing to lose, play like we are free and just let it all out there", Holtby said.
"W$3 e have to find an extra way to get an extra goal", said Trotz.
Sure, it was a very bad call - there's no arguing that - and you hate to see bad calls affect the outcome of a crucial playoff game, but this one didn't feel entirely unjust. Sullivan has preached speed since the moment he arrived in December 2015. Guentzel's goal came when a crossing pass deflected off Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov and by Braden Holtby.
With his team down a goal and two minutes left in the third period, Washington winger T.J. Oshie was whistled for a phantom high-stick on Nick Bonino in the corner.
Penguins goalie Matt Murray (lower-body injury) participated in an on-ice workout session earlier in the morning on his own.
He shoots the puck more (3.9 shots per game without Crosby compared to 3.4 per game with him) and, perhaps not coincidentally, the puck goes in the net more - his shooting percentage rises a full point, from 13.4 per cent to 14.4 per cent.More news: Former Bronco Jay Cutler to join Fox broadcasting team for NFL games
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The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to get revenge on the Washington Capitals after what happened in game 3. Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel countered that Beagle's assertion that Niskanen's shot was "clean" made Beagle "an idiot". Beagle jokingly suggested the two work out their differences over a video game. The "Mario Kart" showdown Beagle wanted will have to wait too.
Niskanen sounded a little more regretful than Ovechkin.
An emotional and energetic start and a dash of luck allowed Pittsburgh to build a 2-0 lead.
The Capitals tied it within a 72-second span later in the second. He scored the first goal to give the Penguins some life, and assisted on Justin Schultz's game-tying goal with just over a minute remaining.
The Capitals will face a Crosby-less Penguins team Wednesday night, but Ovechkin expects Evgeni Malkin to step up and fill that void.
Fleury did the rest.
Washington doesn't do well when they have a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, so the prospects of coming back when they're down 3-1 to win three straight against this Penguins team seems delusional, if not impossible.
"I think, me personally, I have to play much better".
The Oilers had an excellent chance to seize control of their series with the Ducks after winning the first two games in Anaheim, but the Ducks returned the favor in Edmonton.