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Crosby continues evaluation, will not play Tuesday

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Penguins

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will not join the team during Pittsburgh's upcoming two-game road trip this week due to a lower-body injury. But the extent of the injury is still being evaluated.

"Sid is continuing to be evaluated right now, so I don't have an update for you," head coach Mike Sullivan said following the team's Monday practice in which Crosby was absent. "He will not play against the (New York) Rangers (Tuesday). When I get further information, I'll let you know."

Sullivan, who added that Crosby will not be on the road trip, couldn't answer if the injury will be longer term.

"I don't know," he said. "All I know is he's continuing to be evaluated, and when I have further information I'll update (the media)."

Crosby suffered the injury during the third period of Pittsburgh's 3-2 shootout victory against Chicago last Saturday.

Trickle down

With Crosby out of the lineup Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, the Penguins inserted Jared McCann into his spot in the lineup. He worked with Alex Galchenyuk and Jake Guentzel at practice on Monday.

"Lot of skill," McCann said of his new wingmates. "I'll keep playing my same game. I'm not going to change anything. We'll play well defensively and create opportunities for ourselves."

But, don't get it twisted. McCann isn't here to replace Crosby.

"No, I don't look at it like that," he said. "He's a guy you can't replace."

McCann is riding a three-game scoring streak (1G-4A) and has points in four of his past five games (2G-4A). Now, he will move back to his natural center position for the moment.

"He's a good player," Sullivan said. "And he's responded really well when we've put him in the middle.

"It's a test of our depth, not just on our roster, but within the organization as well. Jared is a player that when he's been given an opportunity to play a more significant role, he's responded in a positive way. We're going to need him to do that tomorrow."

The Penguins are currently without Crosby, forward Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Kris Letang - all out with lower-body injuries. Pittsburgh has already suffered 64 man-games lost this season, and have been without many of its key players for long stretches, including Evgeni Malkin, Galchenyuk, McCann, Hornqvist, Bryan Rust and Brian Dumoulin.  

"It feels like we've had a lot of injuries lately, but we've had a lot of good guys stepping up," Guentzel said. "(Replacing injuries is) going to be by committee. We'll see what happens."

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