Penguins welcome back Sidney Crosby, look to eliminate Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby, front, followed by teammate Matt Cullen, steps onto the ice for National Hockey League practice, Friday, May 5, 2017, at the team's practice facility in Cranberry, Pa.

Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist for Washington, which trails the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins 3-2 in the best-of-seven series with Pittsburgh set to host Game 6 on Monday night.

A two-time Hart Trophy victor and a finalist this season, Crosby skated in full gear on Thursday and was a full participant in practice on Friday.

Washington's comeback didn't quite have the drama as Saturday's first game as the Senators grabbed a 3-2 series lead on the Rangers with a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa.

The Penguins' Phil Kessel scored on the power play to give his team a 2-1 lead 4:20 into the second period, but rather than responding with desperation, the Capitals played the rest of the second period with the urgency you might expect in a November regular season game.

The Capitals couldn't find an equalizer in the second, and the game headed into the third period before the Capitals saved their postseason lives with a breathless flurry of goals. Evegni Malkin and Carl Hagelin were victimized for two of the goals. Crosby's teammate Conor Sheary is also a game-time decision.

"I felt good right from the next day until now", Crosby said. You're not going to score the first goal every game.

Asked if the 3-1 series lead factored into the Penguins' decision-making on the players' returns, Sullivan said: "I think that we trust our doctors and the process that they go through, and when they tell us that these guys are healthy and are cleared to play, then that's all we need to know". Now that he's taken the ice for warmups, it seems quite likely he's going to play in this game.

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Corey Perry scored 6:57 into the second overtime after the Anaheim Ducks rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation, completing a spectacular victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night and seizing a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series.

"You're going into the third period going, 'Let's get this done.' There was pretty good conviction in our room", Trotz said. They'll be playing very desperately in Game 5, as they'd like nothing more than to extend their season.

While it may seem like a possible quick return to action after suffering another concussion, Crosby said Friday he is confident that the Penguins' staff will do all they can to make sure he's okay to return.

Washington hosts Game 5 as it faces a do-or-die situation. After being slashed by Alex Ovechkin while driving the net, an off-balance Crosby fell towards Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who delivered a cross-check to the head of the Penguins captain. Guys are trying to prevent you from shooting. "Obviously with this injury, you've got to kind of wait it out and see how you feel". The Capitals should have come away with a win in Game 4, but managed to let it slip away.

"We trust our doctors, we trust our medical team", Sullivan said.

Trotz admitted his top players didn't perform the way he expected them to in Game 4's 3-2 loss. It was an opportunity for us to put him there and get him some reps with Lars and Tom.

  • Julie Sanders