Speaking from New York on Thursday morning before the Pittsburgh Penguins traveled home, coach Mike Sullivan said there was no update yet on injured center and captain Sidney Crosby, who is expected to be further evaluated after the trip home.
Crosby left in the second period of Wednesday’s Game 5 loss against the Rangers in New York after Jacob Trouba leveled a hit on Crosby that included elbowing him in the face or head. There was no penalty called. The Rangers afterward staged a comeback 5-3 win.
Sullivan on Thursday again referred to Crosby’s problem only as an upper-body injury. Crosby has a history of concussions, but there is no indication at this point whether that is the nature of this injury.
As to whether Trouba had intent to injure or inflicted a dirty hit, Sullivan took the high road. “It’s not my responsibility to share my opinion on whether or not it (it was a legal hit). That’s the league’s job.”
As of 9:45 a.m. Thursday, there was no word from the NHL Department of Player Safety on any hearing for or disciplinary action aimed a Trouba.
The Penguins lead the first-round series 3-2 with Game 6 and another chance to clinch set for Friday at PPG Paints Arena.
If Crosby is not available to play Friday, Sullivan said his team will adjust.
“We have a lot of depth at all the positions, and we believe we have what it takes to win,” he said. “We have a capable group. This group has always had the next-man-up mentality, and we’ll continue to do that moving forward.
“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We’re going to take each day as it comes. Regardless of what our lineup looks like each and every night, we believe we have what it takes to win.”
Sullivan, asked about the status of other injured players, did not rule anyone in or out of Friday’s game.
He said goaltender Tristan Jarry “has to continue to go through the rehab process until our medical staff and our rehab department deems him ready to return to play. He’s making significant progress. We’re really encouraged, and we’ll take each day as it comes.’
Jarry has been working out on the ice since last weekend and has begun facing shots from teammates.
Winger Rickard Rakell, who has of Wednesday was practicing without contact, and defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who as of Wednesday had not resumed skating, are status quo, Sullivan said.
The Penguins are not holding their originally scheduled practice Thursday but are taking a travel day instead.