Sidney Crosby not ruled out for Game 5, skates with Penguins

The Capitals have not gotten by the second round in close to two decades, but Ovechkin has been above average in the postseason if you go off the stat sheet.

Crosby suffered what's believed to be the fourth concussion of his career Monday night against the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins will do as they have done before, and lean on Evgeni Malkin to pick up the slack offensively, but the thing to be mindful of with this game is the potential for retribution.

"I thought it was a gutsy, gritty, scrappy game for our group", Sullivan told reporters after the Game 4 win.

Things look radically different now. Yet they are allowing more shots on the rush - defined here as any shot taken within four seconds of uninterrupted game time of any event occurring in the defensive zone or within four seconds of uninterrupted game time of any giveaway or takeaway - than they have in any other playoff run over the past 10 years.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) stops a shot by Washington Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) during the first period of Game 4 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. They trail the series 3-1.

Bonino did a good job selling it and, from the referee's viewpoint (from behind), it was a tough split-second call to make on the ice.

After an extra day off between games, the teams return to Verizon Center, where the Penguins won Games 1 and 2 and will be looking for the kill shot. "He's in the process of rehabbing", Sullivan said. We can't just be going out there taking penalties.

"We overcame (the own-goal)", Williams said.

You can read the tea leaves as you please. He could miss Game 4 and be back in the lineup and be back when the teams meet again in Game 5.

You can go another way. Seriously, that's really pushing it, isn't it?

Many outsiders were quick to write off the Penguins after the Crosby injury.

In total, it seems to be good for the future prognosis of Crosby that he is able to get into a little bit of physical activity (it's just an informal off-day skate, but hey it's something).

But the way things worked out, it...nearly seemed like karma?

I'd caution against running too far with the fact that Crosby skated Thursday.

With that being said, it's pretty hard to feel bad for the Caps.

If he's skating Friday, then it's reason for Crosby, the Penguins and tea-leaves readers to reassess. It hurt them, they lost, and now have their backs against the wall three games to one. After all, the Penguins did win without him. "Other games we win off our counterattack or power play". They exhibited less emotional commitment and dedication to craft than the average convict punching licence plates.

"I disagree with the call or I wouldn't have challenged it", Oilers coach Todd McLellan said.

Game 4 should have a lot of the emotion of Game 3.

If there is a glimmer of hope, Sullivan also said of Crosby, "He's very upbeat and positive".

Crosby knows that the brain can be a amusing and unfunny thing-that recovery doesn't always run a straight line and keep a tight schedule. How much he's willing to risk is something we can't know and maybe even he can't estimate.

Then Crosby was concussed during training camp prior to this season and missed the first six contests as a result. "He's been awesome. Probably our best player".

Even for teams that would rather defend than block shots, sometimes getting in the way of a slap shot is like encountering a grizzly bear.

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