In the middle of the second round of the Rangers’ crucial play-off game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, the Penguins had the game and the series under their command. He led the Rangers with two goals, commanding the game, and the crowd inside Madison Square Garden was quiet and excited.
Their hopeful season seemed to be drawing to a close.
But then Jacob Troba’s left arm, raised high, became a barrel on the face of Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who is playing the same series as he has ever played in his illustrious career. According to Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, it was a hit with dubious intent, which changed the course of the game, and perhaps the series as well.
Crosby left the game for good, and the Rangers scored all their goals to win in his absence, 5-3, with a wild, comeback win in Game 5 which gave them 3 in their now hot summer. Drawn within -2. Round series.
The Rangers still face a draw in Game 6 on Friday night in Pittsburgh. According to Sullivan, there was no indication immediately after the game whether Crosby would be available, or what his illness was, beyond the injury to the upper body, according to Sullivan.
Sullivan said his star player was still being reviewed after the game and did not provide any details about his condition. On Thursday morning, the Penguins flew back to Pittsburgh, where Crosby will receive a further diagnosis.
When asked if he thought Troba had acted with the intention of inflicting a terrible blow, Sullivan’s response was more in his stern tone than in his words.
“Did you see the hit?” He asked a reporterWho answered in the affirmative. “Maybe you have the same opinion as I do.”
Crosby went down on the ice with a crunching check, which came shortly after the Rangers had collected a loose pick in the defensive end. Crosby quickly regained his footing and tried to play. But he could not do that. He went to the bench and sat down, bowed his head, and then left for the locker room to play about seven minutes apart.
Shortly afterwards, the Rangers launched a series of goals from Adam Fox, Alexis Lafrenier and Troba, who danced from point to point for a nifty backhand goal, adding to Crosby’s injury.
One of the most decorated players of the last 20 years, Crosby won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins, two heart trophies as the league’s most valuable player and two Cunningham Smith trophies for the most valuable player in the playoffs. Are In the first four games of the series, Crosby had two goals and seven assists.
But he also has a history of head injuries, the most serious of which occurred in 2011. For many New York fans, it also has a history of failing to pay a fine. But in that case, Crosby never looked to the referee for a call.
No fines were imposed on the game, and the National Hockey League Players’ Protection Office will not consider any fines or suspensions for Trouba. The drama unfolded quickly, and it can be argued that Troba’s elbow was high when he tried to collect the loose puck and accidentally hit Crosby in the face.
On Thursday, Troba called the play “astronomical.”
“It wasn’t really a difficult communication on a large scale,” he said. “Unfortunately, you never want to see someone hurt. I don’t know what the injury is, but hopefully it will get better soon.”
And not all penguins were convinced that the drama was dirty. Marcus Petersen was also asked if he thought Troba had acted with intent to harm.
“Honestly, I didn’t see it,” he said. “But I don’t think so. Both teams are playing hard.”
The violent blow came after a game when Rangers coach Jared Gallant punished his team for being “soft” in Game 4 in Pittsburgh, a game the Penguins easily won. Gallant was not asking the hit players to take cheap shots, but to fight harder, fight for the pucks with the board, and show more determination on defense. They did it all.
But it was also clear from the first shift of the game that the Rangers were ready to be more physical. Chris Creeder and Troba were called in for a simultaneous penalty – to slash Creeder and to elbow Troba, just 24 seconds into the game, and it seemed like they were designed to set a tone. ۔ The Rangers safely killed the 5-on-3 powerplay, and they never looked like this soft, aimless group in Game 4 in Pittsburgh.
“They were as competitive as hell tonight,” Gallant said, “and that’s what we wanted from them.”
He was also pleased that Rangers’ opening goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin played much better in Game 5 than in the previous two games in Pittsburgh, when he allowed 10 goals in three periods.
On Thursday, Gallant dismissed the notion that Troba acted rudely, saying that Crosby’s speed and rotation on ice could sometimes lead to accidental effects, stressing that Troba wasn’t trying to hurt her.
But the effects of Crosby’s absence on the game could not be denied.
“Obviously, he’s one of the best players in the world,” said Gallant. “He still had some great opportunities. He still created a lot. He’s a great player for them, and hopefully he’s fine.
The Rangers’ quickest goal was in two minutes and six seconds. With just two minutes to go, Troba’s strike gave the Rangers the upper hand and rocked the crowd so loudly that the press box burst into flames.
“The building was unrealistic,” Lafrenière said. “Really loud tonight.”
But the lead did not last long as Jack Gٹntzel scored just 13 seconds later, 3-3. It was his seventh goal of the series and his 33rd goal in 56 playoff games.
The Rangers took the lead in the third minute of the third over Philip Chattel’s Power Play goal, their first goal of the season, and the team sealed the victory over Ryan Lindgreen’s empty net goal, which ended in Game 6. Was confirmed.
The Penguins were unhappy to see their captain down the tunnel heading for Rome, falling late in their second round, and blaming the damage. But it was difficult not to communicate.
“He’s the best player in the world,” Gwenzel said. “It’s just a matter of minutes before the boys have to step up. So, we just have to be with him.”