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Pens Points: Derby Day Showdown

Crosby returns to ice in hopes of returning on Saturday. Fleury continues to be key player. Guentzel setting rookie records. Sullivan’s simple philosophy leads Pens to success no matter the circumstances.

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Thursday was an off day for most of the Penguins’ team as they rested up in preparation for Game 5 on Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 PM and will be broadcast on NBC following the Kentucky Derby.

While most of the team took the day off, captain Sidney Crosby was on the ice at the team’s practice facility in Cranberry. Crosby was in full equipment for a workout as he hopes to be ready for Saturday after missing Game 4 with a concussion. [Trib Live]

As has been the case many times this playoffs, Marc-Andre Fleury played a starring role in the Pens 3-2 Game 4 victory over the Capitals. Once again facing the bulk of the shots, Fleury preserved the Pens one goal lead and pushed the Caps to the brink of elimination. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Without Crosby by his side, rookie Jake Guentzel still found a way to make a huge impact on Game 4. His second period goal put the Pens up 2-0 and pushed his postseason points total to 12, good for second in team history for a rookie. [ESPN]

Head coach Mike Sullivan has a very simple philosophy called “Just Play” and though it may sound simple enough, when you dig deeper you learn it entails much more than just those two words. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

When the Pens and Caps meet in the playoffs, the NHL brings out its biggest guns to cover the series. Calling the games are NHL legends Mike Lange, Bob Cole, and Mike “Doc” Emrick. Combining for over a centuries’ worth of calling hockey games, the three men have endless stories to tell. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Every team has that player who just personifies the game of hockey with the way he plays. For the Penguins, that player is Patric Hornqvist who continues to show his warrior mentality every time he steps on the ice. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

One concussion expert was not buying the NHL’s “hockey play” excuse when it came to the play that injured Crosby. [Puck Daddy]

In the playoffs, players go to extreme lengths to do anything that will benefit their team in the long haul. One of those tactics is blocking shots but even the bravest of players are starting to view that method as a last resort. [Sportsnet]

The IIFH World Championships kick off this weekend in France and Germany. Canada is the favorite as they look for a third straight world title. [TSN]