Sidney Crosby to Miss Game 4 with Concussion

The Pittsburgh star is out for Wednesday's Game 4 while recovering from yet another concussion, this one coming from being cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in the first period of Washington's 3-2 overtime victory on Monday night. "We're very optimistic and hopeful we'll have him back in a timely fashion", Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday of Crosby, a two-time Hart Trophy victor and a finalist for the award this season. Meanwhile, the Penguins will try to put the Caps down 3-1 in the series.

The Penguins are like the Achilles Heal of the Washington Capitals in the playoffs, and Game 2 was a prime example of just that.

Crosby missed the second half of the 2010-11 season and most of the 2011-12 campaign because of post-concussion issues. He sat out two weeks after being diagnosed with a concussion last October, returning in time to play in 75 games and score an NHL-high 44 goals. Niskanen was given a five minute major and a game misconduct. An NHL source told ESPN on Tuesday that Niskanen will not have a hearing with the league regarding further discipline.

"Tonight was a great test for all of us", said Shattenkirk, who played miserably during a blowout loss in Game 2.

There's no way in you know where that Matt Niskanen should be suspended for Sidney Crosby's latest concussion.

Crosby laid prone on the ice for a few minutes before behind helped off the ice.

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.

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. Alain Vigneault called it "maintenance", and added Nash "would be good to go" for Game 4 Thursday night. That should cut down on the Pens' scoring opportunities and allow the Capitals to dictate the pace of play. Nicklas Backstrom has enjoyed more consistent success with a goal and an assist in back-to-back contests to give him a team-best 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games.

McDavid led the National Hockey League during his second season, posting 100 points on 30 goals and 70 assists to earn his first Hart Trophy nomination, joining Crosby and Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan shuffled his lines with Crosby out, elevating Malkin to the top line with Kunitz and Phil Kessel and pairing Guentzel with Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust.

"I thought it was the right decision", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. Well, with the Penguins leading 3-1, it certainly is looking that way.

The Caps still have to beat a Pittsburgh team that doesn't have Sidney Crosby, and that's not going to be straight forward.

PITTSBURGH-If the Capitals are going to rally from a three-games-to-one deficit in their second round series against the Penguins, the team's best players are going to need to be much better. I wasn't extending trying to hit him in the head.

  • Julie Sanders