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SIDNEY Crosby’s teammates keep saying nothing ever changes with the Pittsburgh Penguins captain. That the secret to his greatness is really no secret at all. The Penguins believe he remains the same player and the same person every shift, every night.

In theory, yes. But not always in practice.

What separates Crosby is an ability to raise his play in lock-step with the stakes. His team’s grasp on a second straight Stanley Cup tenuous at best heading into Game 5 against Nashville on Thursday, Crosby did more than send a message. He took over. And he led. In more ways than one.

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Sure, Crosby dished out three assists in Pittsburgh’s lopsided 6-0 win to give the Penguins a 3-2 lead in their increasingly coarse series with the Predators. Yet becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in points during this Stanley Cup Final (surpassing his boss, Mario Lemieux) captures only a slice of the brilliance and brawn (yes, really) that pushed Pittsburgh to the verge of a fifth title.

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Ice Hockey news, NHL, fight, video, New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals, why, pictures

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The Rangers’ measure of revenge came courtesy of their fists and not the scoreboard on Wednesday.

In the 4-2 loss to the Capitals, which came two days after Tom Wilson cheap-shotted his way against the Blueshirts, the teams took part in a wild rematch at the Garden that included six first-period fights and totalled 141 penalty minutes.

Wilson and his teammates were forced to answer for his punching of a defenceless Pavel Buchnevich and throwing Artemi Panarin to the ice on Monday, which resulted in Wilson receiving just a $5,000 fine from the NHL.

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NHL hockey news 2021: Pittsburgh Penguins photoshop fail, coronavirus, mask rules, online backlash

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American ice hockey team the Pittsburgh Penguins sparked online backlash this week after a social media staffer photoshopped face masks onto fans in a photo taken during the side’s first home game in front of spectators since last March.

“We just had to say this again … thanks for the continued support, Penguins fans,” the team’s official Twitter account posted alongside an image showing all fans properly wearing face coverings. “We can’t wait to see you tomorrow night.”

The NHL franchise had returned to PPG Paints Arena to face the Philadelphia Flyers en route to a 5-2 win. Just 2800 people were allowed inside to watch the action and a zero-tolerance mask policy was in place.

It was the Penguins’ first home game in front of fans since March 2, 2020, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But some eagle-eyed Twitter users noticed something was amiss. In the original photo, taken by Jeanine Leech of Getty Images, a female fan wearing her mask incorrectly is seen in the top-right corner, while two others didn’t have their faces properly covered.

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NHL Outdoors 2021, Lake Tahoe: Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche delay

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The finish to the NHL Outdoors blockbuster played in front of the breath-taking Lake Tahoe back-drop had to be postponed on Sunday (AEDT) following a dramatic meltdown.

The match between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche was postponed nearly eight hours due to player safety issues.

The contest was halted after the first period with the Avalanche ahead 1-0 after sunshine melted the ice to cause poor skating conditions and too great a risk of injury.

“We concluded after consulting with our icemakers and both teams that we didn’t think it was safe and appropriate to continue playing this game at this time,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

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