NHL: Crosby says he's OK for Olympics after taking shot
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Canada star Sidney Crosby said he was unhurt and headed to Vancouver for the Olympic tournament despite wincing in pain shortly after he took slap shot in Pittsburgh's loss to Nashville today.
"I will be there," Crosby said after the 4-3 shootout loss to the Predators. Team Canada was scheduled to practice Monday and open against Norway on Tuesday.
"I'm on the flight tonight," he said.
Crosby, who earlier tied Alex Ovechkin for the NHL goal lead with his 42nd, spent several minutes on the bench with his head down after blocking a Kevin Klein slap shot about seven minutes into the second period of the last game before the NHL Olympic break.
Crosby led an offensive rush up ice immediately after blocking the shot with what intially appeared to be his lower right shin, though Crosby said it went off his foot. It wasn't until he lost the puck that he showed any sign he was hurt.
During the ensuing television timeout, Crosby appeared to be gingerly testing his right leg with light skating. But he did not miss a shift the remainder of the contest — later adding an assist and an unsuccessful attempt in the shootout — and after the game downplayed the shot when questioned by reporters.
"The shot off the foot?" he said. "That happens. That's part of the game."
Crosby was asked if he was limited at all the rest of the game.
"No," he said. "How many minutes did I play?"
Although he appeared tentative during his first shift after the shot, by the end of the game the 22-year-old Crosby showed no visible signs the foot was hindering him.
The Penguins likewise downplayed the situation.
"He was excited and emotional about the pain," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "But I think it was one of those stingers, and it wore off for him."