Crosby on Penguins' bench to start 3rd

Updated: June 13, 2009, 1:24 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun |

DETROIT -- The NHL's biggest game of the year nearly lost its biggest star 5:38 into the second period Friday night.

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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby hurt his left knee after he got caught along the boards in a collision with Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen.

Crosby returned to Pittsburgh's bench at the outset of the third period. He didn't take his first shift until midway through the period.

Crosby was in obvious pain immediately after the hit and labored to get off the ice before going to the dressing room with the help of the team's training staff.

The Penguins won 2-1 and captured the franchise's third Stanley Cup.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer