The Penguins lost their best player early in Monday’s game.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby left Monday’s playoff games against the Capitals after being cross-checked in the head by Washington’s Matt Niskanen.
The occurred in the first period as Crosby’s skate was clipped by Alex Ovechkin’s. Crosby lost his balance and went sliding across the crease toward Niskanen, who hit Crosby square in the head. Crosby’s left leg and ankle also bent awkwardly as he fell.
Niskanen was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct, while Crosby headed off to the locker room after remaining on the ice for several moments.
“It is what it is,” Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan told NBC’s Pierre McGuire during an in-game interview. “He gets hit in the head. It is what it is. Hopefully we get him back.”
Crosby did not return to the ice to start the second period and the team will not update his status until after the game as per club policy. He was seen inside the arena during the game wearing a suit and apparently walking without a limp, according to Pittsburgh radio host Tim Benz.
The Penguins came back from down 2–0, scoring twice with their net empty, but lost the game in overtime on a goal by Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.