Sidney Crosby Injury Gives Rangers New Life in Game 5 Win vs. Penguins

Doric SamMay 12, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 11: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is checked by Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers during the first period in Game Five of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Throughout the majority of the first two periods in Wednesday's Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Rangers looked like they were on the verge of getting eliminated from the playoffs on their home ice.

But the Rangers flipped a switch late in the second period, scoring three goals within the final three minutes en route to a 5-3 victory at Madison Square Garden to stay alive in the postseason.

So what exactly led to New York's impressive turnaround? Coincidentally, the Rangers' run began shortly after Penguins star Sidney Crosby left the game with an undisclosed injury. Crosby exited late in the second period after taking a shot to the head from Jacob Trouba, and he didn't return.

Fans couldn't help but notice that the Rangers turned up their game once Pittsburgh's best player was off the ice.

Brian Mazurowski @BMaz1

“Elbow the best player in the face” was not in the “Keys to the game” segment but doing so really turned things around for the Rangers.

Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

Sidney Crosby didn’t play the final 6:50 of the 2nd period and wasn’t on the bench during the goal scoring mayhem. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetsGoPens?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LetsGoPens</a>

Nick Alberga @thegoldenmuzzy

Sidney Crosby leaves the game, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a> score on the next shift.

Bob Pompeani @KDPomp

Crosby leaves the ice...<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rangers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rangers</a> get some momentum..and pressure (rare so far tonight) Adam Fox rips one by Domingue.. Its 2-1 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Penguins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Penguins</a>

Pens Inside Scoop @PensInsideScoop

After Sidney Crosby went to the Penguins dressing room, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals in a short span. Then Jake Guentzel got his second of the game 13 seconds after NY took the lead to tie it back up. It's 3-3 after 40.

Ben Fischer @BenFischerSBJ

Rangers score three goals in under three minutes to completely turn an elimination game on its head, and viewers of ESPN had no idea Sidney Crosby was hurt for the entire sequence.

Mike DeFabo @MikeDeFabo

In that period:<br>- Crosby went to the room, did not record a shift for the final 6:50<br>- Rangers scored 3 in less than 3 minutes to take the lead<br>- 13 seconds later, Guentzel scored his seventh goal of the playoffs and second of the game to tie the score at 3<br><br>so ... a lot

Robbie Fox @RobbieBarstool


Andrew Fillipponi @ThePoniExpress

Worst case scenario. A loss and a Sidney Crosby injury.

Hunter @HunterHodies

What really sucks is that the Penguins had that game for the first 34-35 minutes. The Rangers looked absolutely cooked until the Sidney Crosby injury. That's all it took for everything to change.

Some fans accused Trouba of committing a dirty play by hitting Crosby up high, and the referees were lit up for not calling a penalty. 

Bob Pompeani @KDPomp

Crosby still out. It’s a head shot. Nothing called. These referees have really been so bad tonight. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SwallowWhistles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SwallowWhistles</a>

Glenn Kaplan @glennkaplan13

The New York Rangers knew exactly what they doing when they were head hunting Sidney Crosby. They were dead in the water and needed to injure our best player to get back in this series. Pathetic fanbase. Pathetic franchise. Dirty team. I don't tolerate it.

Penguins Jesus @PenguinsJesus

The fact that Rangers are getting this physical, they must know they have no chance to win other than get dirty.

The series between the Rangers and Penguins has been a contentious one from the start, and this injury to Crosby is sure to amplify the tension between the two teams. It's unclear if Crosby will be forced to miss time going forward, but his absence is undoubtedly a major blow to Pittsburgh.

Whether it was Crosby's injury that sparked the Rangers or something else, New York needs to bring that same energy to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on Friday if it hopes to stave off elimination once again.