Think about it. The game ended 3-2 in overtime, thanks in large part to the Capitals once again getting a case of the yips. Crosby is concussed, for at least the fourth time in his career.
There were questions about how they would bounce back from their first loss of the series. The NHL accepted Niskanen's account and didn't punish the defenceman further. That debate is not for this post.
Even as the Capitals buzzed around, there was no panic in the Penguins.
Sheary skated separately before Pittsburgh held an optional practice Tuesday, but his timetable is as inexact as that of Crosby, who was at the team's practice facility but did not skate. However, the Caps almost blew the lead as Evgeni Malkin and Justin Schultz scored in the final two minutes of play to force OT.
If they were to be deprived of Crosby for the rest of the playoffs, the Penguins would take the lead.
"Certainly didn't mean to injure him", said Niskanen, who spent four years with Crosby in Pittsburgh before signing with Washington in 2014.
It was a year ago against the Penguins when the situation reversed itself and Oshie drew a high-sticking penalty that shouldn't have been called. But Washington battled back with two goals into the proper net in the second period, tying the game, and giving some glimmer of hope to Caps fans.
Unless in the absence of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin does not ring the charge. "And we're lucky to have depth on our team".
Want your voice heard? She was joined by her teammate sophomore Kristen Yanchoris (Century) on the 13-member Patriot League All-Academic team. It wasn't always that way for a team that lost to a lower-seeded team in the postseason every year from 2010-14. Besides Malkin, there are plenty of guys that can score goals and score heavily.
"He's been good", said Washington winger Justin Williams, who had an assist. Fully expect a huge effort from these guys.
But that's the problem - there are only seven games in this series. Pinching in and being aggressive. McDavid was the most unsafe player in the opening minutes with a pair of scoring chances.
For once Washington, whose history is littered with playoff collapses, dominated the extra period before Shattenkirk's flip zipped by Marc-Andre Fleury's blocker to send his teammates pouring over the boards in celebration. "We came back with two quick goals".
Crosby's two way play will be missed for sure. Doing it against a team with one of the league's most dominant players (Evgeni Malkin) and a hot goaltender (Marc-Andre Fleury) is even more hard. If Fleury steals a game, it would be a dagger to the Capitals.
The Penguins have become adept at surviving the loss of bold-faced names this season.
On the spot, he was awarded a major penalty for double failure and a game misconduct. Now is not the time to start taking runs at Washington players in retaliation. They turned a pile of Capitals mistakes into a lead they desperately protected, and they can win the series Saturday because of it. After all, the Penguins did win without him.
During the regular season, Washington allowed 3.5 rush shots per 60 minutes at even strength, which has ballooned to a whopping 5.8 per 60 in the playoffs, with 11 of the 45 rush shots Holtby has faced coming in the last four games against Pittsburgh, resulting in five goals against.style="text-align: center;"