Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

Pens coach: Crosby not a cheater

PITTSBURGH — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday that he had "no response" to Sharks center Logan Couture's accusations that Sidney Crosby "cheats" on faceoffs.

"Sid's not doing anything their guys aren't doing," Sullivan said. "Quite honestly, it really isn't worthy of a response."

After the Penguins' 2-1 overtime win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday night — a win that gave Pittsburgh a two-games-to-none lead in the series — Couture said Crosby cheats on faceoffs and gets away with it because of his stature in the league.

Crosby won 71 percent of his faceoffs in Game 2, including three of four against Couture. His faceoff win against Joel Ward 21/2 minutes into overtime led to the winning goal by Connor Sheary.

Asked what Crosby does to cheat, Couture didn't offer a specific example. His answer was more about pushing the rules of the faceoff circle to the limit.

"He times (faceoffs)," Couture said, mentioning something all players who take faceoffs do, "and yet they don't kick him out, for some reason. Probably because of who he is."

No Penguins players were made available to the media Thursday as the team traveled to San Jose for Game 3 on Saturday night.

Sullivan denied that Crosby, the Penguins' captain, does anything illegal.

"Listen, all centers that go in there and take faceoffs, they're trying to get an edge," Sullivan said. "That's just the reality of it. (The Sharks are) doing the same thing that our guys are doing.

"Really, the way I look at it, that's all part of being a center iceman and trying to find ways to get an edge and be successful."

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he wasn't going to weigh in on Couture's comments.

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