When the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets met in the playoffs in 2014, an intense rivalry was born and it was on full display Friday.
The Blue Jackets earned the win in a chippy 2-1 overtime thriller, but the story of the game revolved around a Brandon Dubinsky cross-check to the neck of Sidney Crosby.
Dubinsky got two minutes and Crosby left the game briefly before returning to the ice.
Not surprisingly, Crosby wasn’t in a jovial mood when speaking with reporters after the game.
“Honestly, I didn’t even see it, so I didn’t know how it looked. I just know how it felt,” Crosby said. “I’m not surprised. If I was going to get one of those shots it would probably be from him.”
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Pens head coach Mike Johnston weren’t impressed with Dubinsky either.
Dubinsky has made a habit out of getting under Crosby’s skin. Ever since the Blue Jackets were placed into the Metropolitan Division in 2013, Dubinsky and Crosby have frequently gone head-to-head.
“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” Dubinsky, who set up the OT winner, told reporters after the game. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick rode up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle. I think the stick rode up a little bit, but it wasn’t malicious or vicious or too hard in my opinion…I’m not out there to injure anybody. I’m not out there to hurt him.”
Last season, Crosby picked up his seventh career NHL fighting major when he dropped the gloves with Dubinsky during a game in February.