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Sidney Crosby playing in Game 5 for Penguins against Capitals

Center returns from concussion sustained earlier in series @NHL

WASHINGTON -- Sidney Crosby is playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Saturday.


[RELATED: Complete Penguins vs. Capitals series coverage]


The center did not play in Game 4 on Wednesday after he sustained a concussion in Game 3 on Monday.

Pittsburgh, which lost Game 3 and won Game 4, leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and will advance to the Eastern Conference Final with a win.

Crosby, the Penguins captain, did not participate in an optional morning skate and was unavailable for comment, but he went through his usual game-day routine, including playing soccer in the hall.

Crosby was injured when he was cross-checked in the head by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen in the first period of Game 3. Crosby then skated for three straight days and took part in a full-contact practice Friday.

"My experience of watching players go through [recovery] over the years, you know, they're all unique in their own way," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "Some recover quicker than others."

Video: WSH@PIT, Gm3: Crosby exits with injury early in 1st

The NHL Concussion Evaluation and Management Protocol states, "There is no mandatory period of time that a player must be withheld from play following a concussion, as the return to play decision is based on the individual circumstances of that player."

Forward Connor Sheary, who also sustained a concussion in Game 3, also will play.

Crosby has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in eight games this postseason. Sheary has two assists in eight games.

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