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Highlights of Wednesday's National Hockey League playoff games

13 Mai 2017

Now there is a diagnosis.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are going into game four of their playoff series against the Washington Capitals without superstar Sidney Crosby, who has been ruled out with a concussion.

This was the all-out, all-hands-on-deck effort the Penguins needed with Sidney Crosby out with a concussion.

"It was a gutsy, gritty, scrappy game for our guys", said head coach Mike Sullivan. "Hoping he feels better soon and we see him smile again".

Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel (59) celebrates his goal during the second period of Game 4 in an NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Going back to last year's playoffs, Crosby has become the most complete player the league has seen since Steve Yzerman and it was his line that was out most often against the Backstrom unit. Just over a minute later, T.J. Oshie's shot caromed off the end boards and straight to Schmidt, who beat Fleury for the first playoff goal of his career. He missed the first six games of this season because of a concussion. Earlier, he missed half of 2010-11 and most of the following season because of concussion and neck problems. Patric Hornqvist blocked another shot and barely made it off the ice.

Crosby, who led the National Hockey League with 44 goals, spent part of Tuesday at the team's training facility being evaluated. "It looks like he's playing loose and he's a hell of a player". "So that was the question we asked ourselves when we put together the combinations that we did". The NHL's leading scorer and one of the game's best players did not return and his status for Wednesday's Game 4 " and maybe the rest of the postseason " is uncertain.

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"(Malkin) is an elite player. That turn of events alone is enough to leave the Capitals dejected, but it's the manner in which the loss came that was truly crushing. "I don't think the burden of responsibility falls on him exclusively, I think it's a collective effort". "Phil's the same way, and then it goes down the bench".

The 29-year-old's history of concussions is well-chronicled, and the latest chapter was written after he was blasted early in the first period of Monday's 3-2 overtime loss by Washington defenseman and former Penguin Matt Niskanen.

"They had an opportunity to play well [and] I didn't think our top guys really stepped up...which was very unfortunate for us", Trotz said. "You had two forces coming across". "As a player, you don't want that stuff to happen".

"Great pass from Olli (Maatta) and I saw Holtby was pretty deep in his net and just tried to get it up in a hurry", Hornqvist said. Crosby had lost his balance on a scoring chance when Caps star Alex Ovechkin whacked him with his stick. That included stints without Crosby and others without Malkin, and Sullivan is familiar with effectively patching holes. The power play, which struggled mightily in Game 3 without Crosby, will undoubtedly be diminished.

"Yeah. I mean, it should be nasty".

"It should be nasty", Washington forward Jay Beagle said. "That's the way we like to play". There is no hard data to prove this, but your trusty correspondent would venture to guess that the ratio of penalties called to those ignored is larger for crosschecking than any other infraction in the rulebook.