The Penguins, NHL can't get story straight on Sidney Crosby

The Penguins, NHL can't get story straight on Sidney Crosby

We just have to put more focus on holding our leads before we end up looking like the Edmonton Oilers.

Well, it might not have followed the exact script. "Early in the series a few breakdowns hurt us and they capitalized on them".

With a 2.49 goals-against average, Braden Holtby hasn't exactly been awful during these playoffs. They didn't have much five-on-five continuity to begin with, and having to spend so much time on the penalty kill broke it up even more. They won 20 of 28 faceoffs in the first period of Game 6. Just as troubling as the lack of pucks they've sent Holtby's way over the last two games is where those pucks have come from. It was only midway through the final period, with the Penguins slowing after the wear and tear of a Washington blowout, when Fleury's glove couldn't keep the game within three.

Washington opened the scoring on the same power play, when Backstrom released Evgeny Kuznetsov who set up Oshie for a 1-0 lead. For Washington, it was long overdue. "You have to find ways to get better, play better and move on".

The Canadian star was examined by a team doctor who ruled he did not need to be removed from play for further evaluation. The Caps checked Pittsburgh supremely well all night, suffocating the Pens, roughing up Sidney Crosby and holding Pittsburgh to only three shots on goal in the opening period and under 10 total shots until several minutes into the third period.

Then, later in the game, he did battle with Beagle in front of the Caps' goal. Marc-Andre Fleury must recover after having a awful last four periods.

What the Penguins need to do if they want to take the next step in becoming the first Stanley Cup champion in almost 20 years to repeat is pretty clear. So, Game 7 at home.

After the game, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby wasn't evaluated for a concussion after the first intermission.

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JOSE MOURINHO, on his "wish list" for the meaningless final Premier League game against Crystal Palace. The Portuguese manager told Omnisport: "I think the problem is the tag, the price tag on his back".

"There's no doubt that for me experience, when you have it, is a good thing", Vigneault said on a conference call Sunday.

It looked bad five minutes into the first period when Crosby was chasing a puck behind the Capitals net and he got tangled up with Matt Niskanen. It's safe to say those bounces favoured the Caps in Game 6 and ended up behind Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Capitals have three remaining; Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Jay Beagle.

"It wasn't the outcome we wanted", said defenseman Brian Dumoulin said of Game 6, "but it's a best-of-seven series for a reason. The fun part has been the obstacle".

Crosby took the brunt of a brutal head-first crash into the boards during Game 6 on Monday, just days after being diagnosed with a concussion from a hit to the head.

Consider that the shaky goalie was once Washington's Braden Holtby, yanked after two periods of the second game. Up until the injury, Crosby had been playing like a man possessed. When the stage is the largest, the Penguins captain has a knack for being unstoppable. There's also some confusion over what happened because Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby was never tested for a concussion, while the center himself said he passed concussion protocol. By then the Capitals already had a 1-0 lead on Oshie's fourth of the playoffs.

The series will now be settled in a decisive Game 7 in Washington on Wednesday. The Penguins know what it takes to get through this. And they probably wouldn't have it any other way.

Since 2009 the Penguins have won two Stanley Cup titles and since 2005 the Steelers have won two Super Bowl titles.

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