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Crosby won't play for Canada at Worlds following Penguins elimination

Center not injured, instead wants to rest before next season

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Sidney Crosby will not play in the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

Two days after the Pittsburgh Penguins were swept by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Crosby said he would not play for Canada in Slovakia. He is not injured after playing 79 games this season but will use the offseason to recuperate.

"I'm just going to try to make the most of the rest," the 31-year-old center said Thursday. "No significant injuries or anything like that. I think as you get older, there's kind of things that nag you a little bit, so I'm just going to try and take care of those."

Crosby led the Penguins with 100 points (35 goals, 65 assists) in the regular season before having one assist in four games during the first round. He reached 100 points for the sixth time in 14 NHL seasons, and first since scoring 104 points (36 goals, 68 assists) in 2013-14.

Two years removed from winning his second straight Stanley Cup title in 2017, Crosby said he plans to reflect on what went wrong this season.

"It's disappointing to have this long of an offseason," the Penguins captain said. "It's been a while since we've had this much time, really. Digest the year and have it kind of in your mind. It's going to be a long one. It's going to be a long summer and there will be lots of time to look back and just kind of think about this one. But at some point, you've got to move on and get ready for the next one."

After losing Game 4 3-1 on Tuesday, Crosby blamed himself for Pittsburgh scoring six goals in the four games against New York, including three in the final three games. He said he would like to use that experience to prepare for next season.

"As players, you have to evaluate your own game and figure out what you need to do better," Crosby said. "I'll try to take some of the lessons that we learned and personally try to improve in different areas."

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