Penguins will play Montreal without Crosby, Cooke
MONTREAL — Center Sidney Crosby and left wing Matt Cooke will not play for the Penguins tonight at Bell Center against the Montreal Canadiens.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Crosby ("upper body injury") and Cooke ("personal issues... not hockey related") returned to Pittsburgh early today. Bylsma does not expect either player to be out long term, though he declined to identify specifics of either Crosby's injury or Cooke's personal situation.
Crosby, who leads the NHL in goals and points, was being re-evaluated by Penguins physicians this evening, Bylsma said.
Crosby's injury dates to the Penguins' home win Wednesday night against Tampa Bay. Bylsma said the injury does not result from a hit by Washington's David Steckel last Saturday night during the Winter Classic at Heinz Field.
Bylsma did not identify the sequence upon which Crosby was injured against Tampa Bay.
"At this point we're making sure he's healthy and ready and able to play when he does get back out there," Bylsma said.
"We knew at one point in the game (Wednesday), after the game and traveling, waking up this morning... but we were still going to see how he was reacting to his injury. When he woke up this morning we decided he wasn't going to play tonight."
This will mark only the second game Crosby has missed over the past two seasons. His previous injuries have been of the lower-body variety (groin, hip and ankle).
Bylsma said the absences of Crosby and Cooke will not force him to alter the No. 2 line with center Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy at left wing and Evgeni Malkin at right wing.
Rookie Mark Letestu will center the top line with left wing Chris Kunitz and right wing Pascal Dupuis.
Bylsma said Brent Johnson will start in goal because the Penguins are playing on consecutive nights.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Czech rookie Simon getting familiar with surroundings
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Penguins break in new Cranberry training facility
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together