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Crosby out Thursday vs. Flyers

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sidney Crosby will not be making the pilgrimage to South Philadelphia after all.

Crosby, who missed 68 straight games from Jan. 5 until last month, will sit out Thursday night's contest against the Flyers - and the Penguins' next game - as a precaution after colliding with teammate Chris Kunitz in open ice on Monday.

You likely won't find the Flyers complaining. He has 62 points (26 goals, 36 assists) in just 36 career games against Philadelphia.

According to Penguins general manager Ray Shero, Crosby passed a baseline concussion test.

"Sidney took a hard hit during our game against Boston [on] Monday night and wasn't feeling 100 percent," Shero told the Penguins' web site. "He saw Dr. Micky Collins of UPMC today and took an ImPACT test, which showed no problems. However, we all think it's best that he sits out the next two games as a precaution."

Coincidentally, Crosby's ice time in Monday's game (21:03) was his highest total in any of his 8 games this season. Video of the hit is below.

Crosby was absolutely spectacular on Nov. 21 in his first game in more than 10 months, posting 2 goals and 2 assists against the Islanders. He added 7 points in his next 4 games. Since then, he's cooled off slightly, being held to just 1 assist in the last 3 games.

Against the Penguins, the Flyers could use all the help they can get. Pittsburgh (16-8-4) is first in the Eastern Conference, despite missing No. 87 for 20 games this season. The Penguins, just 8-6-2 away from the Consol Energy Center, are definitely beatable on the road. The Flyers are just 3 points back with 3 games in-hand on Pittsburgh.

Thursday marks the Flyers' first of 6 battles with the Penguins this season. On Wednesday, the Flyers had little time to talk about their future opponent.

"I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I don't think anyone is looking too far ahead," coach Peter Laviolette said. "That's how you can get into trouble. We're focused on Buffalo tonight."

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers