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Penguins' Sidney Crosby intrigued by possible playoff matchup between ex-teammates

Jonathan Bombulie
| Saturday, May 12, 2018, 2:09 a.m.
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins pose during the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting during the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty Images
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins pose during the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting during the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It's not hard to figure out who Sidney Crosby is rooting for in the NHL's conference finals.

Oh, he didn't come out and say so. He has plausible deniability should, say, someone like Brooks Orpik ever call him out on it.

But it's pretty clear Crosby is intrigued by the idea of a matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I don't know how much I'll watch, to be honest, but yeah, for all the guys that I played with and was able to share things with here, we'll see how it works out,” Crosby said as the Penguins cleaned out their lockers on Wednesday. “It could be pretty interesting the way things shake out. You're pulling for those guys for sure.”

Vegas, of course, is led popular ex-Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a long-time close friend of Crosby's. James Neal, Deryk Engelland and David Perron are on the team, too.

Tampa Bay's roster, meanwhile, includes Chris Kunitz, Crosby's long-time linemate.

The Lightning dropped the opener of the Eastern Conference finals to Orpik's Washington Capitals on Friday night. Fleury and the Golden Knights will open the Western Conference finals against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

After the Penguins were eliminated by the Capitals, many Penguins fans swore their allegiance to Fleury and the Golden Knights.

Goalie Matt Murray understands where they're coming from.

“I'll probably watch a little bit when it's on, for sure,” Murray said. “Obviously wishing Flower all the best.”

Now 30, Crosby said he doesn't follow the later rounds of the playoffs as closely as he once did.

“It's hard when you're watching for your mind not to creep back into this mode of being in it,” Crosby said. “Maybe when you haven't gone through that stuff and you're a little bit younger, you want to see what the playoffs are all about. You haven't experienced it yourself. I think it's changed a little bit. You want to be there, so it's tough watching.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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