CROSBY HURT

CAPITALS WIN GAME 3 IN OVER­TIME.

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JA­SON MACKEY PITTS­BURGH —

The Pitts­burgh Pen­guins lost a hockey game on Mon­day night. In over­time, no less. And if that turns out to be the largest amount of dam­age done, chances are they’d be per­fectly fine with that.

Kevin Shat­tenkirk scored at 3:13 of over­time to send the Capitals to a 3-2 vic­tory in Game 3 of their be­stof-seven Na­tional Hockey League Eastern Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal se­ries, but it was a first-pe­riod in­jury — or maybe two — to Pen­guins cap­tain Sid­ney Crosby that will be of greater con­cern in the com­ing days.

Crosby was in­jured at 5:24 of the open­ing pe­riod and did not re­turn. No in­for­ma­tion was im­me­di­ately avail­able on his con­di­tion, al­though the Pen­guins were ex­pected to of­fer an up­date af­ter the game.

Alex Ovechkin made ini­tial con­tact with Crosby, his stick com­ing up high. It also ap­peared that Ovechkin used his legs to knock Crosby off bal­ance. With Crosby un­able to avoid con­tact or pro­tect him­self, Niska­nen cross-checked him in the tem­ple. Crosby’s left leg was pinned un­der­neath him, and it shot out vi­o­lently and awk­wardly as he hit the ice.

Crosby re­mained face-down on the ice for nearly a minute be­fore stand­ing and leav- ing the ice with help from head ath­letic trainer Chris Ste­wart.

Niska­nen was given a five-minute ma­jor for cross­check­ing, which car­ries with it an au­to­matic game mis­con­duct.

The Pen­guins were un­able to muster much of­fen­sively, be­fore Ev­geni Malkin and Justin Schultz scored in the fi­nal 1:53 of reg­u­la­tion to force over­time.

Shat­tenkirk’s goal came on the power play, from long range, the Capitals sec­ond man-ad­van­tage goal of the game.

The Pen­guins still hold a 2-1 ad­van­tage, with Game 4 in Pitts­burgh on Wed­nes­day. Crosby wasn’t the only Pen­guin who left with an in­jury, ei­ther, as this se­ries took a nasty turn.

Winger Conor Sheary col­lided with Horn­qvist at 2:24 of the sec­ond pe­riod. He, too, did not re­turn.

Sheary’s ster­num ap­peared to bear the brunt of the hit, but Sheary went to the Pen­guins dress­ing room hold­ing a towel to his mouth.

One of­fen­sive prob­lem for the Pen­guins was the power play. They failed to score on 10 shots spread over five chances.

That the Pen­guins dropped Game 3 should cer­tainly not fall at the feet of goal­tender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was ter­rific in stop­ping 30 of 33 shots.

Fleury was es­pe­cially bril­liant late in the sec­ond pe­riod. Evgeny Kuznetsov had what ap­peared to be a sure­fire goal. An acro­batic stick save from Fleury kept it out. Also cru­cial was Horn­qvist yank­ing the puck off the goal line with his glove.

Chris Ku­nitz was no­tice­able all night and ap­peared to tie the score at 1 at 1:05 of the sec­ond pe­riod when he de­flected a puck past Capitals goal­tender Braden Holtby.

The call on the ice was a goal. Video re­view said ev­ery­thing checked out OK, al­though of­fi­cials ap­peared to only look at whether the puck crossed the goal line be­fore the net was off its moor­ings.

When Wash­ing­ton chal­lenged for goal­tender in­ter­fer­ence, the call was re­versed and the goal was wiped out.

Ku­nitz, who blasted T.J. Oshie with a fe­ro­cious hit at 5:05 of the sec­ond pe­riod, nearly scored again on a put back af­ter Malkin’s shot, but Holtby snatched it out of the air like an out­fielder.

GENE J. PUSKAR, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Wash­ing­ton Capitals’ Nick­las Back­strom, cen­tre, cel­e­brates his goal in the first pe­riod with T.J. Oshie and Justin Wil­liams. Caps won, 3-2 in over­time.

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