Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust injured in Penguins’ preseason loss to Sabres
The Penguins concluded their preseason with a 3-2 shootout loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena. Of greater consequence were the departures of forwards Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust, who both left the game because of undisclosed injuries suffered while blocking shots.
Coach Mike Sullivan said both were being evaluated, and more information might be available Sunday.
Crosby was struck by a slap shot from Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella, one of the hardest shooters in the NHL, at 6 minutes, 47 seconds of the first period. Rust, while killing a penalty, blocked a slapper from Sabres defenseman Colin Miller at 15:06 of the third period.
After the game, Crosby was spotted leaving the Penguins’ facility with a slight limp but no apparent medical apparatus such as a walking boot or crutches.
As for the game, after a scoreless first period, the Penguins took the first lead at 8:35 of the second.
Taking a pass at the right point, Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz backpedalled from the blue line to the center point and teed up a slapper that was tipped by forward Nick Bjugstad, positioned in the slot. It was tipped again by forward Patric Hornqvist, above the crease, past the blocker of Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark. Assists went to Bjugstad and Schultz.
They made it a 2-0 game only 59 seconds later. Picking up a loose puck on the right wing, Rust veered behind the Buffalo net an emerged in the left circle. He spun around and whipped a wrister that trickled through Ullmark’s equipment. Forward Zach Aston-Reese and Schultz netted assists.
Buffalo got on the scoreboard at 11:03 of the second when Scandella took a pass at the left point and fired slapper past the glove of goaltender Matt Murray on the far side.
The score was tied 2-2 at 11:27 of the third period when Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons got loose on a breakaway and clunked a forehand under the blocker of Murray.
In a six-round shootout, goals by Sabres forwards Tage Thompson and Casey Middlestadt gave the Sabres a victory. Kris Letang scored the Penguins’ lone shootout goal.
Murray finished with 28 saves.
The Penguins finished the preseason with a 2-1-3 record. They open the regular season against the Sabres on Thursday at home.
Note: Penguins forward Alex Galchenyuk missed the game because of an undisclosed injury that has kept him sidelined since Wednesday.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .