Skip to main content

Penguins' Crosby skates, could return Wednesday

by Wes Crosby / NHL.com

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby will not be out long.

Crosby, who will not play for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday after missing the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game with a lower-body injury, participated in Pittsburgh's morning skate Tuesday and could return against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. He said he will wait until Wednesday to determine if he feels well enough to play.

"It's just one of those things where it's day-to-day and I'll see how I feel tomorrow," Crosby said.

After missing practice Monday, Crosby rejoined the Penguins on Tuesday but did not take part in line rushes. He was replaced by center Brandon Sutter between left wing Beau Bennett and right wing Patric Hornqvist. Crosby is unable to play Tuesday because of a rule that keeps a player who misses an All-Star Game from returning in a team's first game following the break.

Crosby said he probably would not have been able to play Tuesday regardless of the rule.

"It's difficult. I think there's a reason why it's there," Crosby said. "Obviously, they don't want guys skipping out on the All-Star Game and going to Florida for four days when other guys come in and do it. So I understand the thought process behind it, but my case isn't the case there. It's difficult to say, but all things considered, I probably wouldn't be playing today anyway.

"So I don't think it really changes anything."

Crosby sustained his injury during a 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 10. Since scoring a goal in that game, he has three goals and seven points in his past five games despite being held scoreless in his past two.

After scoring two goals in 17 games leading into the win against Montreal, Crosby has had possibly his most productive stretch of the season since October, even while battling the injury. His 51 points has him tied with Evgeni Malkin for the Penguins lead, but Crosby has had a down season by his standards.

Pittsburgh's injury situation has affected Crosby more than most. The top line has seen a revolving door of wings with Crosby being its lone constant.

Crosby said he thinks the lack of stability throughout the lineup has made it difficult for the Penguins to become accustomed to their positions within coach Mike Johnston's system, but that Johnston's overarching theme is clear.

"We've had some injuries and stuff like that, so as far as guys getting comfortable in their roles and kind of how they need to play, I think that might take a little more time just because we've had to shuffle the lines so much," Crosby said. "But as far as understanding what [Johnston] expects, our identity as a team, I think we have a good understanding of that.

"It's just a matter of being a little more consistent with it."

View More