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Stanley Cup Final

Sullivan defends Crosby against Sharks complaints

Regarding faceoffs, Penguins coach says 'Sid's not doing anything that their guys aren't doing'

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had little interest in discussing claims by San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby cheats on faceoffs.

Crosby cleanly won a faceoff against Sharks forward Joel Ward back to defenseman Kris Letang in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday. Letang set up forward Conor Sheary for the game-winning goal 2:35 into overtime for a 2-1 win that gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.


Couture afterward claimed Crosby's success on faceoffs is because "he cheats" by timing them.

"He gets away with it; he's Sidney Crosby," Couture said Wednesday. "He times them and they don't kick him out for some reason, probably because of who he is."

Crosby won 71 percent (17-for-24) of his faceoffs Wednesday (3 of 4 against Couture), two days after winning 56 percent (9-for-16) in Game 1.

Video: SJS@PIT, Gm2: Sheary wins game off Letang's feed

Before flying to San Jose on Thursday in preparation for Game 3 at SAP Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), Sullivan said he would not entertain Couture's remarks before commenting briefly.

"I have no response to it," Sullivan said. "My main concern is about our hockey team and our mindset, our determination and the focus of our group. That's where my main concern is and that's where I'm going to use all my energy."

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer also chose to avoid comment upon returning to San Jose.

"I'm not going to weigh in on that," DeBoer said.

Neither Crosby nor Couture was available for comment Thursday.

Sullivan said he is not worried Couture's comments could affect the enforcement of faceoffs moving forward in the series.

"I'm not concerned at all," Sullivan said. "All centers, when they're taking faceoffs, they're trying to get an edge. That's just the reality of it. They're doing the same thing that our guys are doing. The way I look at it, that's all part of being a center-iceman and trying to figure out ways to get an edge and be successful. So, Sid's not doing anything that their guys aren't doing. 

"Quite honestly, it really isn't worthy of a response. So, as I said before, my main focus is on our group and on our mindset going into this Game 3. We want to make sure we focus on the task at hand."

Video: Sullivan on Crosby's play, 2-1 OT win in Game 2

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