It will be Crosby's first game since the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round.
Crosby missed time early in training camp with an undisclosed injury unrelated to the right wrist issues he had treatment for during the summer. He had been expected to play Monday against the Minnesota Wild but was pulled from the lineup to attend the funeral of his grandmother.
"I don't have any problem with them starting [at center]," Trotz said Wednesday before boarding a flight to Buffalo for the Capitals' preseason game Wednesday at the Buffalo Sabres. "They’re both high-level talents. The biggest thing is going to be patience, to let young guys do what they’re capable of doing. I can be patient.
"I think we have enough quality people around them and with the teaching they're getting on a daily basis from the coaches here, they're going to adjust fine. In the long run they're going to get better and better as they play more and more."
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has not been cleared to practice and may not be by the weekend, coach Mike Johnston told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Tuesday.
Malkin, who had 72 points (23 goals, 49 assists) in 60 games last season, has yet to participate in Pittsburgh's training camp because of an undisclosed injury. The Penguins have four scheduled practices before they open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Anaheim Ducks at Consol Energy Center.
"As far as I know, he hasn't been cleared to work out," Johnston told the newspaper. "Once he's cleared to work out, it will be a progression to get on the ice."
"[He] says he feels better and I think this week will be an important week, and hopefully he will be with us next week," Zetterberg told the Red Wings website. "I think it was a wise decision for him to really take the time now and do his rehab and really give it a last shot. Hopefully it will work."
Drouin sustained a slight fracture in his right thumb in a training camp practice Sept. 18 and was projected to miss 3-4 weeks. The Lightning open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Florida Panthers, which would be exactly three weeks after the injury occurred
Drouin said Tuesday he's feeling better but experiencing some pain but his goal is to be ready to face the Panthers.
"We're going in the right direction," Drouin said. "I think there's a couple more weeks [rehab] left, and I'm sure I'll be fine by then. Progress has been really good."
Honka, 18, had 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in 62 regular-season games for Swift Current of the Western Hockey League last season, his first in North America, and was tied for third on the team with two goals in six postseason games. Honka also helped Finland win a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with four points in seven games.
The Stars signed Honka to a three-year, entry-level contract in July.
Steen sat out the Blues' first two games and was held out of the next two for precautionary reasons following a minor injury sustained during a scrimmage.
"I'm looking forward to it, very much so," Steen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You always need a few games. It's completely different to practicing, and the regular-season games are completely different to the exhibition games, so you need these to kind of ramp up. The exhibition games are usually a little sloppier, but usually high-paced, so you tend to find your timing quickly."
Lehtonen will sit out the Stars' preseason finale Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning at American Airlines Center, but is expected to be ready for Dallas' season opener Oct. 9 at home against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"To me, Kari seems pretty good today," Ruff told the Stars website. "I am not a doctor and I don't play one on TV, but I think we are basically out of the woods in that situation. Just have to give the mandatory couple of days."
Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.
— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Monday dropped Columbus to 0-3-0
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