Intense Crosby makes no apologies for helping Hossa

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby would do it all over again, whether people agree with his actions or not.

Crosby and fellow Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin have taken some heat for going after the New York Rangers' Daniel Girardi midway through the third period of Game 4 Thursday, actions which caused both to be slapped with minor penalties.

Girardi had just decked the Pens' Marian Hossa with a clean check, spurring Malkin and Crosby to come to the aid of their teammate. Critics claim the two youngsters, whose forte is putting the puck in the net, cannot afford to be in the sin bin when the team is losing 2-0 late in a game.

"I was the closest to Hossa," Crosby said yesterday. "I don't apologize for (my actions). (Given the same circumstances), I wouldn't change a thing.

"You don't think about it. It's just a gut feeling. You have to go by what you feel. You are just reacting. You aren't worried about what anyone thinks."

Crosby was questioned about the timing of the retaliation that came from he and Malkin.

"It depends on the mood of the team," Crosby said. "Sometimes you need to do something to create a spark.

"These are the playoffs. You play with more desperation, and you learn from your mistakes. Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself.

"Playoff hockey is tough hockey. We don't expect it to be easy. No one said it was going to be rosy."

Hossa was appreciative of the support he received from Malkin and Crosby.

"We were down at the time, and they showed a lot of character there," said Hossa, whose Penguins went on to suffer a 3-0 loss in Game 4.

"It was a regular hit -- not dirty -- but it was nice to see the reaction from those guys. When the other guys see that, it brings us together."

As for Crosby, Pens coach Michel Therrien was asked how his captain plays when the games get physical and Sid The Kid becomes irritated.

"I got one answer: You'll see (today)," Therrien said, referring to Game 5 this afternoon at Mellon Arena (noon, NBC, CBC).


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