MONTREAL — NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby has a mild concussion and will be sidelined at least a week, the Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed late Thursday.
Crosby missed Pittsburgh’s 2-1 shootout loss to Montreal due to what was initially called an upper-body injury. But following the game, Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed that injury was a mild concussion.
"I have not talked to Sid about this, I just got the report through the doctors that he went home and had a mild concussion," Bylsma said.
The Penguins captain was sent back to Pittsburgh on Thursday morning to be re-evaluated by medical staff.
"He’s got to be symptom-free but I’d say he’ll be out about a week," Bylsma said.
Crosby leads the NHL in points (66) and goals (32). Also returning to Pittsburgh was forward Matt Cooke, who didn’t play against Montreal for personal reasons.
Crosby was reportedly injured Wednesday night in an 8-1 home win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, the Penguins could not confirm if the injury might have been sustained from a blindside hit from Washington Capitals forward Dave Steckel during Saturday’s NHL Winter Classic.
Bylsma said Crosby wasn’t experiencing any symptoms before the Wednesday game against Tampa Bay, otherwise he would not have played.
Crosby played in Pittsburgh’s first 41 games before missing the contest Thursday night. He has just one point — an assist against Tampa Bay — in three games since posting a 25-game point streak.
Crosby has proven to be durable, missing just two contests over the last two seasons, including Thursday night in Montreal.
Rookie Mark Letestu took Crosby’s usual spot with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.
"He’s not really sure what happened or what’s going on but obviously he’s not happy," said Jordan Staal, who just returned from injury himself. "I’m sure he’ll be back before we know it."
Goaltender Brent Johnson added Crosby’s absence from the locker room is also noticeable.
"We always miss our captain, he’s the guy who brings everyone together but not having him in the lineup, the guys played a heck of a game," said Johnson.
Bylsma said the club would find a way to work around Crosby’s absence.
"We play 40 minutes a game without Sid on the ice so we’re comfortable knowing how we need to play and how it’s going to be," Bylsma said.