Trotz defends Niskanen's hit on Crosby: 'It was a hockey play'

Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports

Barry Trotz is downplaying Matt Niskanen's controversial hit on Sidney Crosby.

"I thought it was a hockey play," the Washington Capitals head coach told reporters following a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 on Monday night. "Crosby (was) coming down. (Niskanen) just sort of ran into him."

The Capitals blueliner was given a major penalty and ejected early in the first period for cross-checking Crosby as the Penguins captain was falling after being whacked by Alex Ovechkin on a scoring chance.

Trotz wasn't happy about being asked repeatedly about the hit after the game.

"You want me to defend Ovechkin's hit (on Crosby)? Do you want me to defend (Chris) Kunitz's predatory hit on (T.J.) Oshie?"

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby will be evaluated overnight.

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Trotz defends Niskanen's hit on Crosby: 'It was a hockey play'
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