NHL: Status of Penguins’ Sidney Crosby unclear, to be evaluated Thursday

The Pittsburgh Penguins missed an opportunity to close out the host New York Rangers in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday, and their chances of advancing might be diminished due to an injury to their star center.

Sidney Crosby took an elbow to the head from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba late in the second period, and Crosby never returned to the ice after that shift ended. No penalty was called.

“Sidney Crosby will be evaluated when he goes back to Pittsburgh with us today. His injury is an upper-body injury. I’m not going to get into more specifics with that,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Thursday. The team remained in New York overnight.

After the game, Sullivan said merely that Crosby was being assessed for an upper-body injury. Reports indicated a possible head injury.

The coach was asked to comment on the play that injured Crosby, and Sullivan replied, “Did you see the hit? You probably have the same opinion I do.”

Trouba will not be disciplined by the league for the hit.

“I tried going stick on puck when he was going to shoot,” Trouba said Thursday. “My stick kind of went in between his legs and hit his thigh and I pushed my arm up … kind of a fluky play. It wasn’t massively hard contact. You don’t ever want to see a guy get hurt. I don’t know exactly what the injury is but hopefully he’s better soon.”

Trouba scored a goal a few minutes after his hit on Crosby, helping the Rangers win 5-3 to slice their deficit in the Eastern Conference opening-round matchup to 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Friday in Pittsburgh.

Crosby, 34, had two goals and seven assists in the first four games of the series, but he didn’t score before exiting Game 5.

In the regular season, he had 31 goals and 53 assists in 69 games. The three-time Stanley Cup champion has played all 17 of his NHL seasons in Pittsburgh.

–Field Level Media

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