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Crosby out for Game 1, no timetable for return

by Shawn P. Roarke

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said Wednesday morning he would not play when his team opens the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby told reporters after the team's practice he did not receive medical clearance to play. He has been out of the lineup since sustaining a broken jaw when a deflected puck hit him in the face during a game March 30. He needed surgery to repair the break, and also lost several teeth.

"[The doctor] said everything looked good, but he just wasn't ready to clear me to play," Crosby said. "Obviously, I would have loved to have played, but that's not the way it is. I'll make sure I'm ready when the time comes.

Crosby admitted he doesn't know when that time will be.

"I'll just wait and see," Crosby said. "He didn't give me a date."

Wednesday, Crosby was on the ice for two separate sessions. He skated with third-string goalie Eric Hartzell before the morning skate then joined the team for the full session, during which he skated with the likely scratches for Game 1. Crosby also did a little bit of work with one of the power-play units.

"Whenever I take a regular morning skate, for sure that will be a pretty good sign I'm in," Crosby said.

Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said the absence of Crosby in Game 1 is a blow, but one the team has been preparing for since Crosby left the lineup.

"We've played a lot of hockey without Sid on our lines and we played most of our games this year with him," Bylsma said. "We've been playing and preparing for with or without Sidney Crosby in our lineup. If you are talking about the impact of not having one of the best players in the game in your lineup, certainly you would like to have him in there. But we've played the last section of our season without him and we've been practicing that way for this week and we are ready to go for Game 1."

Bylsma said he would not discuss other potential lineup changes, so the status of defenseman Brooks Orpik remains undetermined.

Orpik skated with the full team Wednesday for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury last week.

"It was fun to be back with them," Orpik said. "It's no fun to be by yourself, especially at this time of the year. It's fun to be back around the group."

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