Less than 24 hours removed from having his iconic No. 87 sweater retired by his junior team, the Rimouski Oceanic and the QMJHL, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby left the Penguins final preseason game with an apparent injury in the first period Saturday and did not return for the second period.
The injury occurred late in the first period after Crosby appeared to block a shot with his skate. He left the bench with the Penguins trainer soon after.
The Penguins were forced to shuffle their lines for the remainder of the game. Evgeni Malkin double shifted between his line with Dominik Kahun and Bryan Rust, and the Penguins fourth line with Dominik Simon and Teddy Blueger, who moved to left-wing.
Update: Penguins winger Bryan Rust was also injured in the third period.
“Both got hit with shots, being evaluated right now. We’ll probably have more in the morning,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.
The game was only the second preseason game for Crosby as he and the Penguins have been managing his workload. The Penguins scored a pair of goals 59 seconds apart midway through the second period but yielded a game-tying goal late in the third period. Buffalo did not bring their best NHL roster but still pushed the Penguins to a shootout and eventually won, 3-2.
Last season, Crosby was a Hart Trophy finalist after he scored 100 points, helped Jake Guentzel score 40 goals and led the Penguins through a tumultuous season. Crosby finished second in the voting.
The Penguins will begin the regular season on Oct. 3 when they host the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena.
PHN will update the story following the game as more information becomes available. The Penguins are typically tight-lipped with injury information, especially to their star player.
*Editor’s Note: The original version of the story incorrectly reported the Penguins won the game. The result was corrected in the second version of the story, published after the game.