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Sidney Crosby leaves game vs. Capitals after cross-check to head (Video)

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby went to the dressing room after taking a nasty shot to the head.

Six minutes into Game 3 of the NHL playoff series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, superstar Sidney Crosby has been forced out with a possible injury. Crosby went down after a hard cross-check to the head from Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, and was escorted by trainers to the Pens dressing room.

Niskanen was ejected with a game misconduct, and Washington was charged with a five-minute major penalty, but that won’t be much consolation for Pittsburgh fans if Crosby is seriously injured. In fact, the Pens’ power play didn’t even last that long, with Evgeni Malkin sent to the box about a minute later for closing his hand on the puck.

Nonetheless, here’s a look at the hit Niskanen was booted for. Crosby was already falling after driving to the net, and took the brunt of the defenseman’s stick on his way down. Caps star Alex Ovechkin appeared to knock Crosby down in front of the net, putting him into the path of Niskanen. Sports Illustrated has the highlight for you:

The scariest part of this for Pens fans is that Crosby already has a history with concussions. Over his career, he’s missed a considerable amount of time from head injuries, so any serious hit above the shoulders like this could have a serious impact on the star’s career.

Crosby was named a finalist for this year’s Hart Trophy very shortly before the game on Monday, after a stellar season in which he led the NHL with 44 goals. He’s a very key piece of the Pittsburgh lineup, having led them to a Stanley Cup championship a year ago, and widely considered the best hockey player in the world.

The Penguins currently lead their series 2-0 over Washington, with the next two games at home. They’ll be hoping their captain manages to come back, though, with several key players like Kris Letang and Matt Murray already sidelined with injury.

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