Pens' Crosby leaves game following hit to head

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PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby left Game 3 of his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to Washington early, after he took a first-period cross-check to the head from Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Crosby lay on the ice for several moments before slowly getting up and skating off the ice, mostly on his own power. He went directly down the tunnel for treatment. His leg also bent awkwardly during the collision.

Crosby did not return for the start of the second period.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan did not have an update on Crosby’s condition after the game:

“We don’t have any updates on our injured guys,” Sullivan said. “They’ll be evaluated overnight, and then we’ll go from there.”

The hit from Niskanen came as Crosby was already going down after getting clipped by Alex Ovechkin while driving in on Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.

Niskanen received a major and game misconduct penalty for the hit.

Niskanen said after the game that he wasn’t trying to hit Crosby in the head, explaining that Crosby was moving “lower and lower” as the two came together in front of the Capitals net.

“I hope he’s OK. I certainly didn’t mean to injure him,” Niskanen said. “It was an unfortunate play.”

Crosby has a concussion history and missed the first six games of this season because of a concussion.

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