Sidney Crosby has concussion, will miss Game 4 vs. Capitals
Penguins captain injured after absorbing cross-check from Matt Niskanen
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan says captain Sidney Crosby has a concussion and has been ruled out of Wednesday's Game 4 against Washington (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET).
"He will be out for tomorrow's game," Sullivan told reporters following Tuesday's practice. "We will evaluate him from there."
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"My experience of dealing with [concussions] in the past with players is that they are day-to-day things," Sullivan added, "and so we'll rely on our medical staff to advise us in the right way and our guys do a great job in that regard."
Crosby, who missed the first six games of the regular season while recovering from a concussion, left Monday night's Stanley Cup playoff contest in Pittsburgh after taking a cross-check to the head from Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen.
Niskanen's stick connected with Crosby's head at 5:24 of the first period in a game Washington won 3-2 in overtime and trails 2-1 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal. The Penguins forward had been knocked off balance by an Alex Ovechkin high stick to his upper body.
Niskanen, a former teammate of Crosby, received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for his actions but won't be further disciplined by the NHL.
Crosby's concussion history
Jan. 1, 2011: Took an elbow to the head from Washington forward David Steckel but didn't miss a game.
- Jan. 5, 2011: Hit from behind by Tampa Bay defenceman Victor Hedman. He wouldn't return until Nov. 21 of that year.
- December 2011: Played eight games before being removed from lineup with concussion symptoms, the result of a suspected elbow to the head by Boston's David Krejci. Crosby returned to the lineup March 15.
- October 2016: Missed first six games of the season after sustaining a concussion in practice.
The 29-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native has missed 167 NHL regular-season games due to injury, including the first six of this season with a concussion he suffered during a pre-season practice.
Crosby was at Pens practice facility today. Fleury said he "seems good. He was very encouraging towards us."—@TomGulittiNHL
Sullivan on Crosby's mindset: "He's very upbeat and positive. We're very optimistic and hopeful we'll have him back in a timely fashion."—@penguins
Losing Crosby for an extended period would greatly affect the Penguins' chances to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. They didn't score after the top centre's departure Monday night until capitalizing on a pair of six-on-five chances in the final two minutes of regulation while going scoreless on four power-play attempts.
Coach Sullivan: "Our team always responds the right way. We've got character guys - people we know we can win with."—@penguins
"We've been through this all year with injuries," Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist told reporters Tuesday before Crosby's diagnosis was announced. "Obviously if Sid is not playing tomorrow it's a loss for us, but we need other guys to step up and we've been doing that all year."
Pittsburgh forward Conor Sheary also left Monday's game after colliding with Hornqvist at 2:24 of the second period and has been diagnosed with a concussion.
The 24-year-old skated earlier Tuesday morning on his own. Sheary has two assists in eight games this post-season.
The Penguins are already minus defenceman Kris Letang (neck surgery) and goaltender Matt Murray (lower-body injury).
With files from The Associated Press