'Shocked I was getting kicked out': Crosby handed 1st NHL ejection after chirping ref
Only 5th time in 1,160 contests Pens captain has been penalized at least 10 minutes
There aren't many occasions anymore when one can say Sidney Crosby did something in a game for the first time.
Saturday night, though, he accomplished a first he hoped to avoid.
The Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar received a game misconduct for the first time in his 18-year NHL career midway through the third period of a 6-0 loss to the hometown Los Angeles Kings.
The two-time league MVP was battling for position with Kings defenceman Mikey Anderson in front of the net and was knocked to the ice.
Anderson ended up being called for cross-checking. Anderson and Crosby exchanged words as Anderson skated to the penalty box and Crosby ended up shoving Anderson. Both players ended up getting 10-minute misconduct penalties, but Crosby's got elevated to a game misconduct — which carries an automatic ejection — after continuing to chirp at referee Garrett Rank.
Sidney Crosby earns the first game misconduct of his NHL career after getting cross-checked by Mikey Anderson <a href="https://t.co/PzNWZBB07Y">pic.twitter.com/PzNWZBB07Y</a>—@BradyTrett
"I could tell he [Anderson] was saying something. I don't know what he was saying because we were pretty far from each other. I got closer and that happens often in a lot of scrums," Crosby said. "Honestly, I was shocked that I was getting kicked out of the game. I had no idea."
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan said he didn't receive a reason on why Crosby received a game misconduct.
"I don't think Garrett had any interest in giving us an explanation," Sullivan said.
The 20 penalty minutes were the second highest Crosby has had in 1,160 career games. It is only the fifth time he has had at least 10 minutes of penalties in a game.
While Crosby was surprised to get the game misconduct, he wasn't about to say how he really felt.
"I mean, can I really say what I think anyway? Let's be honest here," he said.