Penguins (seemingly?) dodge bullet with Crosby, edge Islanders

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When it comes to possible concussions and/or head injuries, it’s wise to use caveats.

Sidney Crosby* stands as one of the prime examples for why we say “Player X seems OK … for now.” Many of us hold sad memories of his early concussion issues, as Crosby suffered from a David Steckel hit, only to see things worsen after a collision with Victor Hedman.

So, in cases like Thursday, you have to be careful not to assume too much about Crosby being OK. But at this moment, it seems like this accidental-looking collision with Jordan Eberle won’t have longer-reaching ramifications:

The GIF Sportsnet shared really captured the moment, and might serve as food for thought for the Penguins to at least take another look at their crucial captain.

Either way, Crosby kept playing for the Penguins on Thursday, managing an assist on a laser of a Phil Kessel goal. Pittsburgh couldn’t contain Mathew Barzal and the Islanders in every instance, however, as the Isles forced overtime despite being down 3-1 in the third.

Matt Hunwick ended up scoring the overtime-clincher for his third goal of the season, however, and now the Penguins and Islanders seem to be on different streaks.

The Penguins have won three of four in December and five of their last six stretching back to Nov. 25. The Islanders closed out November with five straight wins, but December hasn’t been as kind so far, as they’ve dropped three of four.

It’s nothing for Islanders fans to be alarmed about, really, as they near a home-heavy stretch once they close out this four-game road trip in Boston on Saturday.

Penguins fans have to hope there’s nothing to be alarmed about with Crosby, either, as otherwise this team is really starting to gather steam.

* – Actually, the Penguins can relate to this beyond number 87. There was a memorable game in which Kris Letang was injured against the Canadiens, came back to score the OT-GWG, then missed time for what looked like a concussion. These things are tricky, in other words.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.