The Penguins were in Washington’s end of the ice when Niskanen crosschecked Crosby across the face with his stick. Crosby was skating by Washington goaltender Braden Holtby when he turned and faced Niskanen.
Niskanen raised his stick and hit Crosby flush. Crosby was on the ice in obvious pain for several minutes before exiting slowly under his own power.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game that there was no immediate update on Crosby or forward Conor Sheary, who left the game after colliding with teammate Patric Hornqvist in the second period.
"We don’t have any updates on our injured guys. They’ll be evaluated overnight and we’ll go from there," he said.
Niskanen was given a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct.
"It wasn’t intentional. I’ve seen the replay in super slow-mo, it looks really bad. I caught him high," Niskanen said.
"I hope he’s OK. Certainly didn’t mean to injure him. It’s an unfortunate play that happened really quick."
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.