Matt Niskanen’s cross-check to the head of Sidney Crosby may well shift the balance of the second-round series between the Penguins and Capitals depending on if or how long one of hockey’s biggest superstars will be out with an injury.
The Pittsburgh captain was taken out of the equation less than six minutes into Monday’s Game 3 overtime loss to Washington. He was cutting across the Capitals’ goal crease and got tied up with Alex Ovechkin, sending Crosby stumbling to the ice. Niskanen made contact on his way down.
Crosby also may have tweaked his left leg on the play when it got caught awkwardly underneath him. He was shaken up and needed to be helped off the ice to the Penguins’ locker room for evaluation, where he would remain the rest of the game.
Together, the unheralded and supposedly overmatched Predators centers by committee have accounted for 13 points in the series. They helped keep Crosby and Malkin shotless in Game 3.
Monday’s win saw 12 different Preds reach the scoresheet, yet more evidence that this never-say-die No. 16 seed may well become the best Cinderella story the NHL has ever seen.
Earlier in the day, Gaudreau stood around his little nook in the locker room chatting with reporters about the particulars of his situation. More experienced players get dibs on the lockers during practice. If Gaudreau dresses for the game, he assumes the locker of whomever was knocked from the lineup with a swap of a nametag.
Before long, it figures he’ll be able to trade up for a permanent locker if he so La Kings Cheap Jerseys desires — no sure thing, given hockey superstitions. Maybe another goal or two will do the trick.
“Hopefully he gets a couple more,” Ellis said, “and then he can have mine Kids Cheap Jerseys if he wants.”