PITTSBURGH — The injury epidemic which has devasted the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup this season apparently struck at the heart of the Penguins Saturday night. Sidney Crosby did not play in the third period of the Penguins 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Penguins captain and offensive leader Crosby was felled by an injury in the second period against Chicago. There was some conjecture regarding specifics, some thought he took a shot off the top of his skate. Others noted an awkward tangle on the boards.
Crosby finished the second period but did not return for the third period. Jared McCann filled in at center with Jake Guentzel and Alex Galchenyuk on the Penguins top line. Crosby had played 14:30 until he left the game. Dominik Simon took McCann’s spot on the left wing with Evgeni Malkin.
“He’s being evaluated right now for a lower body injury. We’ll have more information probably Monday,” head coach Mike Sullivan said following the game. The Penguins are off on Sunday.
Sidney Crosby has been averaging a point-per-game this season. He had 17 points (5g, 12a) in the Penguins’ first 16 games. The team is 9-6-1, pending the result against Chicago on Saturday. Malkin missed most of October before returning in early November due to injury. Currently, top defenseman Kris Letang is out week-to-week with a lower body injury. Patric Hornqvist is also on IR. Bryan Rust, Alex Galchenyuk, Brian Dumoulin and Nick Bjugstad also missed multiple weeks.
The Penguins tied the game midway through the final period when Bryan Rust was uncovered near the Chicago net.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now will update the story as soon as additional information is available. Get the Penguins breakdown and report card from their 3-2 shootout win over Chicago on PHN+, here.