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Stanley Cup Final

Couture: 'Everyone cheats on faceoffs'

Sharks forward accused Sidney Crosby of gaining unfair advantage on draws after Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / Columnist

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture gave context Friday for the comments he made Wednesday about Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby cheating on faceoffs.

"Everyone cheats on faceoffs," Couture said practice. "I cheat. [Sharks center Joe Thornton] cheats. That's how you try and win draws. He's [Crosby] one of the best at it, and he wins a lot of faceoffs."

Crosby won an offensive-zone faceoff against Sharks forward Joel Ward in overtime of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, leading to the goal by forward Conor Sheary that gave the Penguins a 2-1 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Crosby won 17 of 24 faceoffs (71 percent) in the game.

After Game 2 on Wednesday, Couture was asked why Crosby was so challenging on faceoffs.

"He cheats," Couture said.

He cheats?

"He gets away with it," Couture said. "He's Sidney Crosby."

How does he cheat?

"He times them, and they don't kick him out for some reason, probably because of who he is," Couture said.

After practice Friday, Couture said he was not trying to send a message to the officials.

Video: Faceoff follies take center stage in Game 2

"Not at all," Couture said. "No. These guys are the best in the world at what they do. I've got no complaints with the officials. Throughout these playoffs, they've been very, very good."

No one had an issue with the faceoff that led to the winning goal. Crosby won it cleanly.

"The puck went in," Ward said. "It was my fault on the play. I lost a pretty key draw. I've just got to be better. That's the bottom line."

Game 3 is Saturday at SAP Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

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