Matt Niskanen was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct in the first period of Game 3 on Monday after delivering a hit to the head of Sidney Crosby. Crosby was down for several moments after the hit before slowly skating off the ice with a trainer by his side.
Crosby was in on a 2-on-1, but was put off balance by the back check of Alex Ovechkin. As he was falling, he received a hit to the head from Matt Niskanen. In real time it looked as if Niskanen was turning to hit Crosby, but hit him in the head as a result of the fall.
Pittsburgh did not score on the resulting power play.
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Fortunately for Washington, the Caps dressed seven defensemen with Karl Alzner back in the lineup. The ejection does leave the team shorthanded with 17 skaters, but still with six defensemen for the game.
There is no update yet as to Crosby’s status. The injury is troubling considering Crosby’s history with concussions.