The New York Rangers know the Pittsburgh Penguins’ biggest weapon is captain Sidney Crosby and they didn’t let up on the star player in Game 5 of their first-round series on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Crosby took a hard hit from Jacob Trouba with 10:45 remaining in the second period, fell to the ice, popped up and skated towards the bench. He played two more shifts before going to the dressing room with 5:43 remaining in the frame and did not return for the remainder of the contest.
Sid hasn’t returned after this hit pic.twitter.com/iiNt58yAlk
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 12, 2022
Trouba on Crosby…Point of impact. pic.twitter.com/lnHqbTGVNO
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) May 12, 2022
With Crosby out of the game, the Rangers erased a 2-0 deficit and quickly took a 3-2 lead with Adam Fox, Alexis Lafreniere and Trouba each finding the back of the net. New York went on to claim a 5-3 victory and force a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh on Friday.
Guentzel on Crosby leaving the game early: "We have plenty of leaders on this team that do a lot. We never want to see a player like that leave, but we have to find a way... He's the best player in the world. That's a lot of minutes other guys have to take up. Next man up."
— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) May 12, 2022
Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan did not provide a concrete update on Crosby's status after the game, or on Thursday morning, saying the captain has an upper-body injury and will be evaluated back in Pittsburgh. When asked if he thought Trouba's hit was malicious, Sullivan offered the following:
"Did you see that hit? You probably have the same opinion as I do."
Trouba will not have a hearing for the hit and will not face supplemental discipline, according to multiple reports.
Crosby leads the Penguins with nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the series. The entire NHL community will be holding its breath waiting for a more definitive update on his status.
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