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Matt Niskanen won't face hearing for hit on Sidney Crosby

"We will evaluate him day-to-day", head coach Mike Sullivan said.

Neither Matt Niskanen nor Alex Ovechkin will receive any discipline and we'll go on our way, comfortable in our attitude that Sidney Crosby's a star who should expect that kind of treatment.

"He's very upbeat and positive", Sullivan said of Crosby. Crosby famously lost a year of his prime to concussions, so it feels like too much to hope for that we'll get to see him again over the final month of the postseason.

Crosby has dealt with multiple concussions during his career, including one against Washington in the 2011 Winter Classic that he needed almost two years to fully recover from. The win gives the Capitals their first victory in the series against the Penguins, and cuts Pittsburgh's second-round series lead to 2-1.

"I thought it was the right decision", Trotz said Tuesday morning. Evgeni Malkin stroked the first, Justin Schultz the latter with 65 seconds left.

Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik delivers a slap shot to Crosby's face, leaving the Penguins star with a broken jaw.

The NHL has a culture where you need to cross-check someone multiple times before you get a penalty. He ran into Niskanen, who delivered a cross-check to Crosby's head while number 87 went down.

Game 3 is set for Wednesday in Pittsburgh. In the end, the Penguins were held scoreless on four power plays, and the Capitals won it on Shattenkirk's power-play goal. When the play first starts, I think my stick had about his arm level probably right about where the numbers are on the side of his jersey.

"I like Nisky as a person", Kunitz said.

But a Crosby-sized hole would be a lot to deal with this time of year, even if the Capitals have been spotty and almost collapsed in Game 3. But Crosby's concussion leaves them without the centrepiece of their offence as the Capitals look to even the series. At full speed, it's hard to see it as anything more than a reaction by a guy trained to play as close to the edge as humanly possible.

"It was an unfortunate play", Niskanen told NHL.com reporter Katie Brown.

What do you do now with Matt Niskanen?

"If Sid is not playing ... it's a loss for us", Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist said. If Sidney's out of this series (or the rest of the playoffs!) then it could spell doom for Pittsburgh chances. Now the Penguins have one of the best players in hockey, who is known for concussion problems, most likely out for the series maybe longer.

The teams that finished the regular season atop the league standings played at times as if they were more intent on settling scores than trying to score.



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