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Penguins' Sidney Crosby hit in head vs. Capitals, leaves game


"I'd rather not share my opinion on it". Crosby slowly walked to the locker room, and the Penguins said they would not discuss his status until after the game.

Several Penguins attempted to raise their play in Crosby's absence, but they often came up short. He ran into Niskanen, who delivered a cross-check to Crosby's head while number 87 went down.

Niskanen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty, which meant that he was kicked out of the game.

Before exiting in the first period Monday, Crosby had two goals and two assists in Games 1 and 2.

Because this isn't the first time we've seen Crosby (potentially) leave for a long time after a head injury.

Captain Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with a concussion and will not play in Game 4 of the Pens' Second Round series against Washington on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena.

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"I like Nisky as a person".

The Capitals can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that one of their best defensive players will not be suspended.

The Penguins averaged 31 blocked shots in the first two games of the series, but finished with just 18 in Game 3. I think he's coming across, trying to score. You can't remove Crosby from the emotional reaction to the play, even though you also can't take him into account when judging Niskanen. Barry Trotz's decision to play Karl Alzner as a seventh defenseman wound up being a huge decision because of this. The league could not look at this play and see Niskanen as a reckless player who was trying to hurt the top player in the NHL. Niskanen allowed it looked "really bad" when he caught the replay, but stressed there was no malicious intent. I expect him back in the series. As he's doing that, he's getting lower and lower, and when it's happening that fast, you know, my stick and his head collided. "I don't think it's a very nice hit".

It also happened to Crosby, which is why speculation will endure and so much hinges on whether he returns.

Crosby has sparked the Penguins to two Stanley Cup titles and Canada to the past two Winter Olympic gold medals plus last year's World Cup of Hockey crown. Schultz's game-tying goal with 65 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.

Despite being the better team for most of the night (and ALL of the series) the Capitals did blow a two-goal lead and things got intense. The official brought fans to their feet a second time when he announced the goal was good, but they quieted moments later when the Capitals' challenged for goalie interference.

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