PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby's playoff beard just got markedly more visible.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain has been given medical clearance to play without the plastic mouth and jaw guard he wore throughout his first 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games this month.
Crosby, who missed the entire month of April in addition to the Penguins' playoff opener because of a broken jaw sustained in a March 30 game against the New York Islanders, practiced Sunday with a regular helmet for the first time since being sidelined by the injury.
To protect his jaw and teeth that were damaged when a puck deflected up into his face March 30, Crosby was required to wear a clear plastic apparatus that extended from his helmet down around the lower part of his face.
"I kind of liked seeing the pictures with him in it," coach Dan Bylsma quipped after practice Sunday. "Those playoff-type of pictures with that on there. But now he can show off his beard a little more."