After the game Niskanen, who was ejected from the contest but will not face further disciplinary action, said he was "absolutely not" trying to injure Crosby, who earlier in the day was named a finalist for the league's MVP award for a sixth time.
Niskanen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty, which meant that he was kicked out of the game.
The Washington Capitals climbed back into their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series with Pittsburgh when Kevin Shattenkirk scored a power-play goal at 3:13 of overtime for a 3-2 win in Game 3 on Monday night, but the Penguins might have lost more than the game.
Crosby returned on November 11 on fire: Crosby scored twice and tallied 12 points in seven games before the Penguins visited the Bruins in Boston on December 5. Whether he's back for Game 4 or not at all this spring, it will be discussed and replayed and remembered.
Crosby missed the remainder of the game, and his status moving forward is questionable. Washington's Alex Ovechkin slashed Crosby along the upper body and Crosby slid awkwardly trying to maintain his balance when he collided with Niskanen, who had his stick raised.
"I wasn't trying to cross check him with a serious amount of force", Niskanen said. Getting slower typically goes hand-in-hand with getting older, and with 801 NHL games on his odometer, plus 55 more in the playoffs, Backes has skated a lot of hard miles in a very tough league. In the first two games, Crosby had two goals and two assists, five shots, won 28 of his 54 faceoffs and even blocked two shots.
US Defense Secretary visits Afghanistan following deadly attack
He said that arm shipments from Russian Federation to the Taliban "would have to be dealt with as a violation of worldwide law". However, Mattis can't meet with his Afghan counterpart, or the head of the Afghan military, as those guys quit Monday.
The Penguins have dealt well with adversity all season. "I'm not saying (former Rangers coach) Roger Neilson told Graves to go after me, but he told his players to go after me". That should add another million or so to his next contract, and it's not like the rest Caps were playing their "A" game.
Crosby's diagnosis wasn't the only bad news for the Penguins. They've rolled on through the loss of Kris Letang, their top defensemen. 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.
The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime Monday night, as reported by the Associated Press.
"I think this group has so much character and talent that we're able to endure the injuries that we have", Sullivan said. The Penguins still own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who was pulled in Game 2, stopped 28 of 30 Pittsburgh shots.
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