The Pens had the most interesting start to a game in recent memory. Captain Sidney Crosby was a last-minute (literally) scratch by the team, forward Craig Adams was forced to make an emergency appearance and center Evgeni Malkin was lost in the first period.
Crosby and Malkin’s status for Sunday afternoon against Detroit is undetermined.
Let’s start at the beginning. Crosby took warmups with the team and was expected to play in the game. The Pens submitted the official game roster with Crosby on it. But after warmups, Crosby wasn’t feeling well and went to see the team’s doctors.
“I was walking out to the bench for the start of the game and I was told that ‘Sid’ was seeing the doctors,” head coach Mike Johnston said. “He wasn’t feeling well, that’s the best way to describe it. It’s not an injury. He didn’t get himself injured in the warmup. He just wasn’t feeling well and went to see the doctor.”
After the national anthem Johnston was alerted that it was determined Crosby wouldn’t be able to play. Johnston quickly contacted the referees and tried to replace Crosby with Adams, per Rule 7.1 – which states that a switch can be made after the official lineup is submitted as long as the referees approve.
So Adams, who was in street clothes and didn’t do any physical warmups or stretches, had to quickly get dressed. The puck dropped with the Pens short one man.
“About 30 seconds before the game started they let me know that Sid couldn’t go, so I got dressed,” Adams said.
Then just 90 seconds into the game, Malkin was hurt after a collision in the offensive zone. He left the game, but returned around the 10-minute mark of the first period. Shortly after Malkin’s return, Adams stepped onto the ice for the first time. It’s the first time in his career that Adams played a game without physically warming up.
“It’s not ideal. It’s a little tough,” he said. “I’ve never done that before. Once I had a couple shifts I felt good.”
Even though Malkin finished the first period, he did not return for the start of the second period and missed the rest of the game with the undisclosed injury.