The Penguins have been steadfast of their perception they will advance with out Sidney Crosby.
They have sufficient depth and different weapons to win yet another recreation, they’ve repeated. Not having their famous person middle is not an excuse they’re keen to make use of, coach Mike Sullivan and his gamers have mentioned.
But within the recreation and a half of this first-round Stanley Cup playoff collection the Penguins have performed with out Crosby, the Rangers have outscored them by six targets. The Penguins have twice blown two-goal leads with out Crosby. And as his status stays unsure, the Rangers have all of the momentum for Game 7 Sunday on the Garden, after their come-from-behind, 5-3 win Friday evening in Pittsburgh.
“I believe in this group. I think we have what it takes to win regardless of who’s in our lineup,” Sullivan insisted. “I know we’re very capable.”
They have been unable to win to date with out Crosby, out since taking an elbow to the top from Jacob Trouba within the second interval of Game 5, and it stays to be seen if he’ll have the ability to play in Game 7.
Crosby didn’t skate along with his teammates Friday morninge, although he did get on the ice with abilities coach Ty Hennes. Crosby has a concussion, in line with a number of studies, a problem he has handled all through his good career. Crosby has missed 108 regular-season video games on account of quite a few head accidents.
“Sid is in a good place,” Sullivan mentioned earlier than the sport.
The 34-year-old Crosby led the Penguins to a 3-1 lead within the collection, torching the Rangers for 2 targets and 9 factors. Evgeni Malkin took his spot on the primary line between wingers Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, and did rating Friday evening, tying the rating at 3-3 late within the second interval.
The Penguins gave the impression to be answerable for Game 6, up 2-0 after one interval. But the sport swung when middle Evan Rodrigues took a roughing penalty after a success alongside the boards by Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren 5 minutes into the second interval. Five seconds later, Rangers middle Mika Zibanejad scored to slice a two-goal deficit in half and flip momentum.
“You just simply can’t. He’s got to keep his emotions in check,” Sullivan mentioned of Rodrigues. “That’s a necessary part of winning this time of year.”
Particularly for the Penguins, whose margin for error has diminished with out Crosby.