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Penguins’ Sidney Crosby ruled out for Game 6 against Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been ruled out of Friday’s Game 6 against the New York Rangers, head coach Mike Sullivan said.

Crosby did not attend Pittsburgh’s morning skate on Friday, but did skate with the team’s skills coach.

Sullivan says forward Rickard Rakell is a game-time decision, while defenceman Brian Dumoulin and goalie Tristan Jarry are also out of the lineup. Both Jarry and Rakell participated in the morning skate.

Crosby left Game 5 against on Wednesday during the second period after Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba connected with him on a hard, high hit near the faceoff dot amid a scramble for the puck.

Crosby fell to the ice, rose to his skates, and immediately headed for the bench. The Penguins star went on to play two more shifts before leaving the game for good.

“Did you see the hit?” Sullivan said, when asked for comment on the play Wednesday night. “You probably have the same opinion I do.”

Sullivan later added on Thursday morning that it’s not his responsibility to share his opinion on whether or not Trouba should be suspended. The NHL did not discipline Trouba for the play.

Through the first five games of the series, Crosby was playing some of his finest playoff hockey in years, leading with Penguins with nine points, scoring two goals and adding seven assists.

Jarry suffered a broken foot on April 14, while Rakell and Dumoulin have been out since Game 1.

If Crosby’s injury proves to be head-related, it would be especially worrisome given his history with concussions.

The two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner missed the second half of the 2010-11 season, and the majority of the following season, as he dealt with post-concussion issues.

For a time, during those turbulent years, there were concerns Crosby may never be able to make a full return to the game. He’s since said that the work done by neurologists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and Ted Carrick, a Canadian chiropractic neurologist, with helping him get back to playing hockey.

“When you get a typical injury you’re given a time frame, you’re gradually working towards getting back,” Crosby said in 2013 when discussing his struggles with head trauma. “With concussions there is not generally a time frame or a span where you’re feeling better. You feel like you’re getting better and it can be one day and you’re back to where you started. It’s a frustrating injury and one that anyone has gone through can relate. It’s a hard one to understand unless you’ve gone through it.”

The Penguins host the Rangers in Game 6 with a chance to wrap up the first-round series Friday night on Sportsnet and SN NOW. Game begins at 7 p.m. ET.

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