Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with another concussion and will miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against Washington.
Coach Mike Sullivan disclosed the severity of the injury Tuesday, one day after Crosby left in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss after getting cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen.
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“He’s very upbeat and he’s very positive and we’re very optimistic and we’re hopeful we’ll get him back in a timely fashion,” Sullivan said. Crosby was at the team’s practice facility earlier in the day. The Penguins lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Wednesday night.
Crosby has dealt with multiple concussions during his career, including one against Washington in the 2011 Winter Classic that he needed nearly two years to fully recover from. The two-time MVP also missed the first couple weeks of this season with a concussion but returned to lead the NHL in goals as the Penguins try to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
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Niskanen received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. The league decided against holding a hearing to determine whether the hit should be subject to review from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Niskanen said following the game the hit was not intentional.
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The NHL’s leading scorer and one of the game’s best players was skating by Washington goaltender Braden Holtby when he turned awkwardly after being stick-checked by Alex Ovechkin. He ended up facing Niskanen as his body was going toward the ice and took Niskanen’s stick across the side of the head . Crosby was on the ice in obvious pain for several minutes before exiting slowly under his own power.
Crosby entered the game tied for second in scoring for Pittsburgh with 11 points, including two goals in Pittsburgh’s Game 1 victory over Washington. Pittsburgh forward Conor Sheary is also dealing with a concussion after colliding with teammate Patric Hornqvist in the second period Monday night. Sheary’s status for Game 4 was uncertain.