Sidney Crosby knocked out of Game 5 as Penguins fall to Rangers in potential playoff series clincher

Jace Evans
USA TODAY

Sidney Crosby exited Wednesday night's playoff game against the New York Rangers after taking a hard hit and never returned.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain exited the contest for good with 6:50 to go in the second period after absorbing a hard hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. 

Pittsburgh was leading 2-0 in the potential closeout game when Crosby was forced to the locker room. Things unraveled in his absence.

The Rangers stormed back with three goals in a span of 2:42 to take a 3-2 lead in the second period. The Penguins, however, needed just 13 seconds to equalize at 3-3. 

Filip Chytil gave the Rangers the lead 2:53 into the third period and they added an empty netter to win 5-3 and force a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh. The Penguins still lead the series 3-2. 

But now there are questions about Crosby's availability. 

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not reveal much postgame, other than saying Crosby was being evaluated for an upper-body injury. Sullivan heavily implied that he was not a fan of the hit. 

"Did you see the hit? You probably have the same opinion I do," Sullivan said when asked about the play by reporters. 

As he normally is, Crosby was a driving force in the Penguins seizing a 3-1 series lead. The 34-year-old, three-time Stanley Cup champion recorded two goals and seven assists in the first four games of the series. 

Game 6 is Friday night in Pittsburgh with the Penguins seeking their first series victory since 2018. All eyes will be on the health status of their long-time superstar.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was forced out of Game 5 vs. the New York Rangers after sustaining a hard hit.

Panthers 5, Capitals 3

SUNRISE, Fla. – Carter Verhaeghe set a Florida postseason record with a five-point night, and the Florida Panthers escaped a three-goal deficit to beat the Washington Capitals 5-3 and take a 3-2 lead in an Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots for Florida, which trailed 3-0 in the second period. Verhaeghe had two goals and three assists for the Panthers.

Patric Hornqvist, Claude Giroux and Sam Reinhart also scored for the Panthers, and Aleksander Barkov had two assists.

T.J. Oshie scored twice for Washington, which also got a goal from Justin Schultz and two assists from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ilya Samsonov stopped 33 shots.

Verhaeghe broke the Panthers’ playoff scoring record that Ray Sheppard set on a four-point night back on April 22, 1996 – which remains the last, and only, season in which the Panthers won a playoff series.

They can change that Friday, when Game 6 is played in Washington. Game 7, if necessary, would be back at Florida on Sunday.  

– Associated Press

Flames 3, Stars 1

CALGARY, Alberta – Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane and Trevor Lewis all scored in the third period, leading Calgary over Dallas to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves for the Flames, who can win the series Saturday in Dallas. If necessary, Game 7 would be back in Calgary on Sunday.

Jason Robertson scored the lone goal for Dallas, and Jake Oettinger stopped 29 shots.

– Associated Press