PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby did not practice on Wednesday, at least not in the conventional sense.
Crosby, along with Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, forwards Nick Spaling and Zach Sill, and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, surprised 40 children involved with the Little Penguins by taking the ice during a unique practice that took place after the NHL players had their turn.
Crosby, the Penguins, Dick's Sporting Goods and Reebok fund the Little Penguins, a youth hockey program that provides free head-to-toe equipment to 1,000 young players each year.
The Penguins captain did not participate in Pittsburgh's Wednesday practice because of a maintenance day, Penguins coach Mike Johnston said, but decided to show for the kids.
"It's a great program," Crosby said. "Obviously, there are a lot of volunteers who help out, but it's nice to get a few players out here today and these kids were hopefully enjoying themselves, getting the opportunity to play, like all of us did, at the same age. So it was a nice little time here and hopefully they had fun."