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Sidney Crosby may return to Penguins on Monday for 1st time since March 9 @NHLdotcom

PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby plans to accompany the Pittsburgh Penguins on a brief road trip that starts Monday and could play for the first time since March 9.

The Penguins meet the New York Islanders on Monday night and the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday before returning home to face the Islanders again Thursday.

Crosby took part in the Penguins' pre-game skate Saturday but did not play during a 7-1 victory over New Jersey that moved them into the Atlantic Division lead.

Crosby was the NHL's leading scorer when he badly sprained his right ankle while sliding hard into the boards Jan. 18 against Tampa Bay.

He missed 21 games before coming back against the Lightning on March 4, playing three games until pain returned in his ankle. He sat out Pittsburgh's last five games.

"I feel like I'm better off than I was the first time I came back," Crosby said. "It feels stronger."

Marian Hossa, the Penguins' newly acquired right-winger, will skate on a line with Crosby, but coach Michel Therrien isn't saying who will play on the left side.

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