Leafs catch a break

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:54 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- The young Maple Leafs won't have to face the young superstar of the Pittsburgh Penguins in tonight's pre-season contest at the Mellon Arena.

After this morning's game day skate, Sidney Crosby revealed he would sit out the contest to nurse a sore groin.

"He's not playing tonight, his groin got a little tight this week and we don't want to take a chance," Pens coach Michel Therrien said. "It's not worth it at this time."

Crosby skated at full speed during yesterday's practice and participated in today's morning skate without any noticeable difficulty. But he said he didn't want to risk further damage considering the Pens open their regular season 10 days from now in Sweden.

The scratch won't sit well with TSN, which is broadcasting the game coast-to-coast, a decision likely made in part because of Crosby's star power.

Crosby has played in just one of the team's two pre-season contests, as management opted not to have him travel to Tampa Bay on Monday. The Pens play the Leafs on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre and Therrien hasn't ruled No. 87 playing in that game.

"It's going to be up to him," Therrien said. "If it would have been the regular season, I am convinced he would have played (tonight). But at this time of year its not worth it.

"It just got tight. You don't want to risk a bigger injury for just an exhibition game."


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