PITTSBURGH - Penguins captain Sidney Crosby required oral surgery Saturday after taking a puck in the teeth on his first shift of what turned out to be a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders.
The Penguins are hoping that’s as serious as it gets.
Given Crosby’s history of concussions, a blow to the jaw area is always going to raise the possibility of another head injury.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he didn’t have an answer to the question about Crosby and another potential concussion.
“I think every time that type of thing happens to a player, you think about that. It doesn’t matter who it is,” he said. “A puck deflected off a shinpad and went up and got him in the jaw area — the teeth area — you think about those things, regardless of the player.”
Crosby, the league’s leading scorer, was standing to the right of the Islanders net when a shot by Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik changed direction off Islanders winger Brad Boyes and struck Crosby square in the mouth. Crosby’s stick went flying as he collapsed to the ice face down and there was a trail of blood after he was helped to his feet and skated off.
“It was a very unfortunate play. Looking at it on the replay, he didn’t see it coming at all,” said Penguins winger Jarome Iginla, who was making his debut with the Penguins. “It was tough. It’s very tough to see that happen to a teammate, to anybody on the ice, but especially a teammate.
“When you see the replay you see he had no chance to even move or nothing. He’s a tough guy and a tough competitor but you don’t like to see that happen to anybody.”
For everyone on the Penguins there’s always that moment for alarm bells.
“It’s a scary moment,” said Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke. “None of us know what the situation is. We just know he got it in the face. It’s never a nice thing. You just hope for the best.”