PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby lost several teeth and needed oral surgery after he was hit in the mouth with a puck during a 2-0 victory against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Coach Dan Bylsma wasnt sure whether the injury affected Crosbys jaw and didnt know whether he would miss any more time. The Penguins, who have won a league-high 15 straight games, are host to Buffalo on Tuesday.
I just know he had some issues with his teeth, Bylsma said. Just from the replay I know that.
Bylsma saw enough to become concerned about the health of the teams biggest star, particularly because of his history battling concussion problems.
Crosby missed considerable time the past two years because of concussions. He was sidelined for the final 41 games in 2011 and the Stanley Cup playoffs, in addition to skipping most of the 2012 season as symptoms lingered.
I think every time that type of thing happens to a player you think about it, Bylsma said.
Crosby has enjoyed a resurgence this season, leading the league with 41 assists and 56 points. He holds a 10-point lead over Steven Stamkos in the NHL scoring race.
A bloodied Crosby, who did not return to the game, skated off the ice with a towel covering his mouth after Brooks Orpiks slap shot from the point deflected off a stick and hit the Penguins center just 1:28 into the game.
When you see the replay, he had no chance to move, said newly acquired forward Jarome Iginla, who made his Penguins debut after a trade early Thursday with Calgary.
He didnt see it hit him. Its a very, very unfortunate play.
Crosby immediately fell to the ice and tossed his stick in the air. He then went to the hospital for surgery.
Its very tough to see that happen to anybody on the ice, but this is your teammate, and Sids such a great player and a big part of this team, Iginla said.
FLYERS 3, BRUINS 1: In Philadelphia, Mike Knuble and Matt Read scored, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves as Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak.
Ruslan Fedotenko added an empty-net goal for the Flyers, who began the day 14th in the Eastern Conference but only six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Boston entered with the third-most points in the conference (46).
Nathan Horton scored for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-4-1 in their last seven games. They had won four in a row against Philadelphia.
HURRICANES 3, JETS 1: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Justin Peters made 34 saves to help Carolina keep its playoff hopes alive.
Alex Semin and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist, and Jussi Jokinen also scored for Carolina.
AVALANCHE 1, PREDATORS 0, OT: In Denver, Tyson Barrie scored at 50 seconds of overtime to lift Colorado.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots for his third shutout of the season and the 11th of his career.
CANADIENS 3, RANGERS 0: In Montreal, Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored in the first period and Carey Price made 34 saves to lead Montreal.
The Canadiens moved three points ahead of Boston for first place in the Northeast Division.
CAPITALS 4, SABRES 3, SO: In Buffalo, N.Y., Alex Ovechkin scored once in regulation and again in a shootout as Washington rallied from a two-goal deficit.
MAPLE LEAFS 4, SENATORS 0: In Ottawa, Ontario, Nazem Kadri had a hat trick and James Reimer made 31 saves as Toronto won its third in a row.
PANTHERS 3, DEVILS 2, OT: In Sunrise, Fla., Dmitry Kulikov scored at 1:43 of overtime to lift Florida.