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Crosby won't play for Canada at hockey worlds

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Olympic star Sidney Crosby won't be joining Canada's team in the world hockey championships in Germany,

Crosby, who played in all but one of the Pittsburgh Penguins' 95 games this season, including playoffs, turned down the invitation on Thursday after being asked to replace the injured Ryan Smyth (ankle).

Crosby was invited a few hours after the reigning Stanley Cup champion Penguins lost 5-2 to Montreal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Penguins played in the Stanley Cup finals the last two seasons and have had only two calendar months off - July and August of last year - since the 2008-09 season started in October 2008.

Canada won the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver when Crosby scored in overtime to beat the United States.

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