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

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“At first I thought it was Bryan Rust”. Crosby returned to the lineup March 15.

Oshie called it an “amateur play”, one symbolic of a night in which the Capitals failed to take advantage of a Penguins team missing Crosby, defenseman Kris Letang and forward Conor Sheary.

The 29-year-old Crosby is no stranger to concussions during his National Hockey League career, requiring almost two years to recover from one sustained in the 2011 Winter Classic. I know he’s always devoted to the team. He’s played well. I never concede to the goalie.

“While Shooting Australia’s focus is and must be the development of top-level athletes for the future, we will not turn our backs on someone who has been such a great servant of our sport and our country in the past”, the association said.

Ray Shero pauses. Normally one of the most articulate GMs in the sport, he is struggling to find the words. He was a stand-up captain for Ray Shero.

A year ago, some hockey writers came to the defense of Ovechkin under similar circumstances.

And now, to see this.

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

Matt Niskanens shot to Crosbys jaw early in Game 3 left Crosby concussed and his immediate future uncertain. Ray Shero, The Dad, will forever be even more thankful to Crosby for being there for Chris.

The NHL’s inaction comes as the league faces a notable class-action lawsuit from former players concerning its handling of concussions and head injuries. He would get knocked off the puck… and here’s a guy that’s 220 pounds and one of the strongest guys that’s ever played the game. And still Pittsburgh has been firmly in control throughout the first three weeks of the playoffs.

“He was out of school for two months”, Ray Shero recounted. Perhaps the Senators will benefit from the last change or the boost you get from a home crowd, but either way, there’s plenty of room for improvement. They’re not getting ahead of themselves, especially without Crosby. For some reason last night, Ovi just didn’t have it. It’s going to be tough to replace (him).

My feeling is with two referees on the ice they should have called a slashing or high-sticking penalty on Ovechkin for such cavalier use of his stick that it would appear to hit Crosby’s head twice.

“You’re taking a part of who you are and suggesting that maybe that might be the end”, Primeau recalled about his decision to retire. “Other times they don’t”. “We have to make sure we play a full 60 minutes going forward here”. “We talked about how things were”.

Ovechkin also said there was no intent to injure Crosby.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Tator says when someone has suffered multiple concussions, the chance of having persisting symptoms “goes up terrifically”.

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

Crosby was out of action for nearly a year after suffering a pair of head injuries in early 2011.

Things look radically different now. Again. We just have to wait a few days for the funeral.

“When he’s your centerpiece and he’s doing what he’s doing and accomplishing what he’s doing, you’d have to scratch your head and really dig deep into the archives of when he’s played better”, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

“When I saw Sid lying there, I just felt, well, ill”.

If Sidney Crosby felt like he was good to skate, he’s free to exercise that choice. “More or less (it’s a) first reaction”.

It would also mark the Capitals’ ninth playoff series loss in 10 tries against Pittsburgh and more of the same for a team that hasn’t advanced past the second round since the 1997-98 campaign, when it fell in the Stanley Cup Final.

For Ray Shero, the answer is yes.

Dr. Paul Echlin, a primary care sports medicine specialist in Burlington, Ont., and past chair of the London Hockey Concussion Summit, said a fourth concussion is very concerning. “Yeah, they targeted him”. When the time is right I’ll probably reach out to him after the boiling over kind of cools down. The insane thing? It was Bonino who got called for the penalty in last year’s Game 5.

It’s worked too. It won them a Stanley Cup, and it’s trying to win another.

I don’t buy that he meant to smash his stick across Crosby’s noggin. “Back then, players patrolled and policed themselves”.

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And the ones who go out of their way to hurt them?

Alex Ovechkin on Crosby hit'It's hard to see a player go down and it's hard to see him get hurt

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