Concussed Crosby skates with Penguins, no word on return

Sidney Crosby was laid low by a hit from Matt Niskanen in Game 3 against Washington

Sidney Crosby was back on the ice Thursday, but his status for the remainder of the playoffs remains unclear. But the Penguins are going about their business in a much different way.

He is very upset about this - and his comments on Hockey Night in Canada on Tuesday night where picked up by both the Washington and Pittsburgh media.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS: While a significant portion of the spotlight rests with Niskanen and his role in Crosby's concussion, fellow defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk finally saw a positive light in the playoffs with his power-play goal 3:13 into overtime on Monday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing without Sidney Crosby, the league's leading scorer and finalist for the most valuable player award, Kris Letang, their best defenseman, and Matt Murray, their No. 1 goalie.

Ovechkin, meantime, owned his lackluster effort, saying he didn't play his game.

Ovechkin had 10 points this postseason and continued to be a physical presence, and looked risky at times in Game 4. Washington went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.

Hornqvist gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 4:39 of the first period with a rare, breakaway goal.

Anaheim unleashed 21 shots in the second period, when it scored twice to tie the game at 2-2.

Matt Niskanen, who hit Crosby and likely caused his concussion, should expect some retaliation on Wednesday. And if the Penguins finish the job and send the Capitals home for the summer, we will likely read the same headlines just as we have for so many years now. "It's a day-to-day process, and we're taking it each day as it comes".

So is the chameleon-like evolution of his team, seemingly game to game. Sullivan has drilled that mentality into them since he's arrived. The Penguins incessantly skated and chased, poke-checked and darted. So far, eight of the first 14 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Washington found itself in a last-minute pickle that might or might not have been justified thanks to some acting from the Pens' Nick Bonino on a high-sticking call immediately following the Caps' decision to pull Braden Holtby from the net.

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At no point in this series or the previous one did Fleury present these playoffs as a redemption tour. And, certainly, call him in when there is such a controversial play like that.

Let's stop seeing curses, bad breaks or bad playoff formats and let's acknowledge the Capitals for what they are: a good team that consistently fails to rise to greatness in the postseason. Thought our guys competed extremely hard tonight.

The examples were everywhere.

Said Getzlaf: "I feel good right now, I'll put it that way".

Even as the Capitals buzzed around, there was no panic in the Penguins. The two-time NHL MVP proved so valuable in the series, with two goals and two assists in the first two games against the Capitals.

They can do this without Crosby.

"Sid did skate this morning and he's in the process of rehabbing", Sullivan said.

In fact, until Ovechkin's offensive zone penalty in the third period during a Washington power play, it was hard to notice if Ovechkin - the Capitals team captain - was on the ice at PPG Paints Arena in Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to the Penguins.

This isn't how it was supposed to go for the Washington Capitals.

And the Washington Capitals still find themselves staring down a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

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