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Sidney Crosby won’t play tonight against Canadiens; Matt Cooke also out

Jan 6, 2011, 6:27 PM EST

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Playing back-to-back games is tough enough. Going without the league’s leading scorer and one of its most insufferable pests will be even tougher.

That’s the situation the Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in, though, as word surfaced that Sidney Crosby and Matt Cooke will miss tonight’s game against the hated Montreal Canadiens.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Crosby is suffering from an “upper body injury” while Cooke is dealing with personal issues (let’s assume Cooke’s personal issues don’t involve finding his son another matching tailored suit). I must admit that my immediate thought was: “maybe that David Steckel hit was as bad as it looked for Crosby” but the Penguins claim that Crosby is dealing with something from yesterday’s game against the Lightning instead.

It sounds like Crosby’s injury isn’t very serious, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Bylsma did not identify the sequence upon which Crosby was injured against Tampa Bay.

“At this point we’re making sure he’s healthy and ready and able to play when he does get back out there,” Bylsma said.

“We knew at one point in the game (Wednesday), after the game and traveling, waking up this morning… but we were still going to see how he was reacting to his injury. When he woke up this morning we decided he wasn’t going to play tonight.”

This will mark only the second game Crosby has missed over the past two seasons. His previous injuries have been of the lower-body variety (groin, hip and ankle).

Those previous injuries made Crosby miss a considerable amount of time, yet the Penguins were able to persevere thanks to strong play from the likes of Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh hopes they will only need to fight through a game or two without their captain. We’ll keep you updated about his status this week.

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