The Pittsburgh Penguins finally got some good injury news Saturday when they activated Bryan Rust and Nick Bjugstad from IR. However, in the final seconds of the second period, Sidney Crosby hobbled to the bench after a deflected shot struck him in the head. He did not join the team at the start of the third period but joined the team three minutes into the period.
Because of course. It’s been that kind of start to the season for the Penguins.
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the second period, Crosby was battling for position in front of the Dallas net. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang’s shot was deflected and struck Crosby near the face, left ear or helmet area.
Crosby slowly skated to the bench, sat with his head down, and then went to the locker room by himself at the conclusion of the second period. Crosby played all 82 games last season when he scored 100 points and was a Hart Trophy finalist.
However, Crosby has narrowly escaped concussions in the recent past and has battled concussion issues through parts of his career. He suffered his last head injury in the 2017-18 playoffs against the Washington Capitals when defenseman Matt Niskanen inadvertently cross-checked Crosby in the head, as Crosby was falling to the ice.
Saturday night, Sidney Crosby played over 12 minutes in the first two periods, which led the Penguins forwards. The Penguins are already without star center Evgeni Malkin and Alex Galchenyuk. They managed just 11 shots through two periods Saturday against the Dallas Stars and have lost three in a row.
The Penguins remaining healthy centers for the third period were Nick Bjugstad, Teddy Blueger, and Joe Blandisi. Jared McCann took Crosby’s spot on the top line with Jake Guentzel and Dominik Simon, until Crosby returned. McCann had been centering the Penguins second line with Patric Hornqvist in Malkin’s absence.