Jason Brough

Crosby practices with Penguins, wearing a regular jersey


Sidney Crosby hit the ice for practice with the Pittsburgh Penguins this morning, and he did it wearing a regular jersey, as opposed to the non-contact type that injured players typically don.

Crosby, who was diagnosed with a concussion after being forced to leave Monday’s Game 3 against the Washington Capitals, skated yesterday by himself in full gear at the Penguins’ practice facility.

Via Ryan Recker of WTAE-TV, here’s video of Crosby this morning:

Conor Sheary (concussion) is also practicing today.

Crosby and Sheary did not dress for Game 4 on Wednesday.

Game 5 goes tomorrow in Washington. The Penguins lead the Capitals, 3-1.

Ovechkin practices on third line


The Washington Capitals hit the ice for practice this morning, and Alex Ovechkin was on the third line.

Ovechkin, who normally plays with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie on the Caps’ top line, was instead skating with Lars Eller and Tom Wilson.

Andre Burakovsky, who’s gone pointless in the series, replaced Ovechkin on the top line.

The second line of Marcus JohanssonEvgeny Kuznetsov, and Justin Williams remained intact.

The changes came after Ovechkin admitted he did not play well in the Game 4 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He only registered two shots and was called for two minor penalties.

“Obviously, I didn’t play my game at all tonight so I think, me personally, I have to play much better,” he said.

His coach agreed.

“Our top guys didn’t step up tonight,” said Barry Trotz. “Which was unfortunate. Our top players need to play like top players. They didn’t.”

The Capitals trail the Penguins, 3-1.

Game 5 goes tomorrow at Verizon Center.

Read more: Three Capitals stats that explain their predicament

Kevin Stevens gets probation in drug-selling scheme


BOSTON (AP) A former NHL player who was on two Stanley Cup championship teams has been sentenced to probation for his role in the illegal sale of prescription painkillers.

Kevin Stevens was sentenced Thursday in U.S District Court in Boston to three years’ probation and fined $10,000. He pleaded guilty in December.

The 52-year-old Massachusetts native was arrested in 2015 after a traffic stop and was found to be in possession of 175 pills. Prosecutors say he would supply the pills for another man to sell.

Stevens apologized in court Thursday. His lawyer said he was prescribed oxycodone after a serious on-ice injury in 1993 from which he has still not recovered.

Stevens was on the Pittsburgh Penguins 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup-winning teams. He also played for the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings.

Former NHLer Keith Primeau can appreciate Crosby’s plight


TORONTO (AP) Former NHL forward Keith Primeau has a good idea what injured Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is going through.

The effects of at least four concussions forced Primeau to retire in 2006 after trying for over a year to get back in the Philadelphia Flyers lineup. He was eventually told that it would be best if he stopped playing and he did a month later.

“If I knew then what I know now, the ultimate decision would have been for me to call it quits earlier,” Primeau told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “But there was no chance that I was ever going to do that. How do you convince somebody? You’re playing a little bit of Russian roulette.”

Crosby suffered what’s believed to be the fourth concussion of his career Monday night against the Washington Capitals. His return date is uncertain.

Crosby was out of action for almost a year after suffering a pair of head injuries in early 2011. He suffered another concussion last October but only missed two weeks of action.

Making things even more difficult for Crosby is that his latest injury came in the heat of a playoff series against an archrival. Primeau said personal pride can sometimes get in the way of clear decision-making.

“You feel like you’re against the odds or you’re beating the odds,” Primeau said. “In reality, you don’t have the ability to look at the full picture.”

The 29-year-old Crosby led the NHL with 44 goals during the regular season and was recently named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s most valuable player. He had 11 points in eight playoff games for the defending Stanley Cup champions before his injury.

Related: Crosby skates at Penguins practice facility

Rangers expecting better Sens effort in Game 4

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The New York Rangers know the Ottawa Senators will be better tonight.

After all, the Sens could hardly play worse than they did Tuesday at MSG. The Rangers dominated from the very start and came away with a well-deserved 4-1 win.

That win got the Rangers back in the series, which they now trail 2-1. But a loss tonight would be tough to overcome. Game 5 and, if necessary, Game 7 are in Ottawa, plus New York would have to win a game at home.

“We’re still down 2-1 in the series,” said veteran forward Derek Stepan, per NHL.com. “Game 3 was good, but Game 3 is gone and past now. It doesn’t mean anything. I don’t think we’re going to see the same Ottawa team come out in Game 4, so we better be ready to go right from the start. We’re still chasing the series right now.”

The Senators also need to recognize the situation and draw some motivation from it. They couldn’t match the Rangers’ desperation on Tuesday, and now they’re in danger of letting a 2-0 series lead slip away.

“We have to have the urgency, the battle level that we normally have,” coach Guy Boucher said. “And we’ve gotta match theirs. Because we know that they’ll be home and they’ll most probably display the exact same urgency as they did last game.”

Related: Bobby Ryan ready to go for Game 4