Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Crosby skates at Penguins practice, concussion recovery remains 'day-to-day process'

Clarence Duncan | 08 May, 2017, 06:04

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned to the ice Thursday, skating with teammates Conor Sheary and Carl Hagelin at the Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa., as he recovers from a concussion. The Pens were able to pull off the win without Sidney Crosby, who suffered a concussion in Game 3 after colliding with Washington's Matt Niskanen.

The official announcement was on Tuesday and, even if the series went to the maximum distance, that would give Crosby a week and a day to be symptom-free to return for Game 7. The Penguins can eliminate the Capitals for the second straight year with a win in Game 5 on Saturday.

"We have to play like we have nothing to lose, play like we are free and just let it all out there", Holtby said.

Sullivan said in a conference call that Crosby skated and is in the rehab process, referring to his status as "day-to-day".

Matt Niskanen's shot to Crosby's jaw early in Game 3 left Crosby concussed and his immediate future uncertain.

To this you can add: Is there anyone who has said no to Crosby except former Penguins employees?

The group that earned a grimy OT victory on Wednesday against increasingly baffled Washington spent most of the night comfortably buried in its own end.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Patric Hornqvist (72) celebrates his goal past Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) with Carl Hagelin (62) during the first period of Game 4 in an NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal hockey game in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. But the shots the Caps do yield are some of the most unsafe in the game - breakaways, rebounds and power plays. A crucial icing call against the Oilers late in Game 4, not to mention some other linesmen-influenced plays sure to be debated, hardly make this pill easier to swallow. The Penguins scored a total of three goals in their final three losses, another in a string of playoff failures that led to the firing of general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma later that spring.

The Penguins' advantage doubled 3:51 into the second when a centring pass by Guentzel smacked off the skate of Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov and by a surprised Holtby.

Pittsburgh's Justin Schultz eventually scored the game-winner on a power play, of course, but you got the feeling that Washington was going to tie things up. You could tell how badly the Penguins wanted to score the first goal of this game against the Washington Capitals. "They come hard and they have good skill". They outshot the Senators 15-5 in the first period while building a 2-0 lead.

Four games played and four games have the Capitals been the best team.

The Penguins deserve all the credit in the world for what they've done this postseason.

It wasn't necessarily that the Capitals played poorly (that plus-20 shots on goal advantage was not a fluke), but coach Barry Trotz seemed to think his top players had an even higher level they needed to get to and were unable to do it.

"I know it happens", he said.

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