Capitals 6, Penguins 3: Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, Rob Scuderi, Kris Letang injured

"I don't think its too bad.  We'll see tomorrow.  I haven't seen [the replay], but it felt pretty bad. Hopefully, all goes well."

Sidney Crosby
Post-Gaz

For Capitals coverage read Japers Rink.

How naive of us to get any hope...

I know that headline reads like a laundry list of injuries but it has to be said.  The Washington Capitals hurt the Penguins tonight in more ways than one.  Count it: two forwards, two defenseman and the obvious scoreboard.

Excuse the format, but this wasn't your regular game.

In the painful order of appearance:

Rob Scuderi

The Penguins' leading shot blocker and PK specialist decided he would block a shot tonight with more than his pads.  In a matter of seconds puck meets face and Scuderi is huddled over with blood pooling onto the ice.  On a positive note he walked off the ice under his own power but that doesn't mean his face will be any less swollen tomorrow.  He didn't return.

Max Talbot

No clue what really happened here.  Chances are we're looking at some sort of upper body injury.  It's vague but it's the best I can do based on sheer speculation.  From one angle it looked like his shoulder connected with Ovechkins leg/skate, from another it looked like his arm/wrist hit the ice wrong.  No ifs about it, Talbot skated off the ice and would not return.

Kris Letang

Can't say this one was all that serious, as he did manage to return to the game.  Letang has played through some tough slashes and blocked shots in the past but this one was a shot off a tender part of the skate/foot.  For a few seconds it looked like he couldn't put any weight on his leg.  Eventually he hobbled to the bench, sat out a shift or two and jumped back on the ice.  Even though he finished the game it's hard to say whether or not he'll be a scratch in the next game.

Sidney Crosby

This one hurts.  Four days from the day of last year's high ankle sprain (January 18), Sid was taken off the ice tonight with four minutes remaining in the third period after colliding with a Caps player and landing hard to the ice.  He looked to favor his left leg, an unfortunate indication that he may have some sort of leg/ankle injury.  He would not return.

Recap

And yes, there was a game of sorts to play as well.  As you can imagine these injuries didn't help matters much as most of the Penguins' defensemen were pulling double and triple duty on the blue line.  Ryan Whitney looked confident with a goal of his own and a shot that finally showed some promise, but it wasn't enough. 

The Capitals took advantage of every opportunity the Pens gave them tonight while also generating chances of their own.  The Caps went 2-for-6 on the power play, but managed just as efficiently at even strength with some incredible passes that caught the exhausted Penguins defense out of position.

As the game progressed and the injuries piled up for the Penguins, so too did the Capitals' shots.  11 in the first, 13 in the second and a monstrous 17 shot third period pinned the Penguins down like an entrenched, bruised and battered platoon.  There was no hope of winning this one in the third.  It was all about controlling the bleeding. 

Expect the farm to get the call within the next 24 - 48 hrs.  The Pens are edging closer to two full minor league lines at this point.

Sheer speculation: Jeff Taffe, Tim Wallace/Janne Pesonen, Ben Lovejoy and Danny Richmond.  Come on down.

The good: 16 guys walked away without an injury.  That's actually the good news.

The bad: Four guys are really banged up

The ugly: Everything after the second period.

Next game: Friday.  Ducks.  7:30.

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