Pittsburgh Penguins star center Sidney Crosby and goaltender Tristan Jarry returned to the starting lineup for Sunday’s Game 7 against the Rangers in New York.
The players had been listed as “playing time decisions” by coach Mike Sullivan.
Crosby, who had nine points in the first five games of the series, left Game 5 after suffering an upper-body injury from a hit by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba in the second period. New York rallied to win this game. Sources told ESPN on Friday that Crosby was sidelined in Pittsburgh’s 5-3 Game 6 loss with a concussion. Rangers also rallied to win that game, pushing the series to Game 7.
Crosby skated individually with skills coach Ty Hennes on Friday, then practiced with Pittsburgh on Saturday. He did not take an optional practice Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
“The word concussion can be used loosely, but head injuries are very serious,” Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson told ESPN. “The Penguins are very careful and very smart about it. What’s most important is Sidney’s well-being as a person. He’s being assessed and they’re doing everything by the rules. A final decision on whether whether he plays tonight will be taken by the team doctor.”
Jarry hasn’t played since April 14 after breaking his foot. Backup Casey DeSmith played well leading the Penguins in the final stretch. He started Game 1 against Rangers but had to go into double overtime with an injury. DeSmith underwent core muscle surgery and was ruled out of the playoffs.
Third stringer Louis Domingue led the Penguins to a Game 1 triple overtime win but had an .898 save percentage and 3.65 goals-against average in six games. He struggled in Game 6, especially on Chris Kreider’s game-winning goal in the third period.
Jarry took part in Sunday’s optional practice and seemed to follow a starter’s routine, including going off the ice first. Sullivan declined to name a starting goaltender for Game 7.
This could be Jarry’s first playoff start since the Penguins’ first-round loss to the New York Islanders in 2021, a six-game series in which he struggled, recording a save percentage. .888 saves and a 3.18 goals-against average.
In other Penguins injury news, defenseman Brian Dumoulin remains out after being injured in Game 1. Forward Brian Boyle, one of the team’s top penalty killers, is out week by week. after a lower-body injury in Game 6. Forward Rickard Rakell, who was injured on a hit in Game 1, will also play after being listed as a playing time decision.
The Penguins are the only NHL franchise not to lose Game 7 as a visitor, and their 6-0 road record is the longest such winning streak in NHL history.
Rangers’ all-time record in Game 7 is 9-6, including a 7-1 mark at Madison Square Garden.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.