In a move that was mostly a formality, the Penguins yesterday placed captain and leading scorer Sidney Crosby on injured reserve because of his high ankle sprain.
The move opened a roster spot so that he does not count against their 23-man limit. It also means he can't play before the weekend, which would be one week from the time he was injured. Crosby, who is scheduled to have his right ankle evaluated today if the swelling has subsided sufficiently, already was expected to be out well beyond this week.
Crosby was injured Friday in the first period of a 3-0 loss at home to Tampa Bay. While carrying the puck toward the Lightning net, he got tangled with defenseman Paul Ranger, slid to the ice and slammed into the boards behind the net. He needed assistance to get to the locker room.
A high ankle sprain involves the ligaments that attach the lower ends of the tibia and fibula, the two main lower leg bones.
At the time he got hurt, Crosby was in a tie for the NHL scoring lead with 63 points. He is the defending NHL scoring champion and MVP.