PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says he will not play in the first game of the NHL playoffs.
“I would have loved to have the chance to play tonight, but it’s not the way it is, and I’ll make sure I’m ready when the time comes,” Crosby said.
Crosby returned to practicing with the team last week.
Sid said he met with a doctor yesterday and that the doctor told him everything looked good, but he just wasn’t prepared to clear him to play.
Crosby, who has been out of the lineup since March 30 with a broken jaw, has been skating in full gear. Crosby also had an attachment added to his helmet to help protect his jaw.
Crosby was injured when a shot by Brooks Orpik deflected off of a New York Islanders’ player into his face. He lost several teeth in addition to the broken jaw.
Crosby skated alongside his teammates on Wednesday morning then spent an additional 30 minutes on the ice getting extra work in. He said he has not been given a timetable for his return. Game 2 is Friday night.
“He didn’t give me a date and I’m sure if he gives a date, I’d have pretty high expectations of that date,” Crosby said. “I’m sure he’s waiting until he feels comfortable.”
The Penguins went 8-4 while playing without Crosby for the final quarter of the season and beat the Islanders in four of their five meetings this year.
Despite missing 12 games, Crosby still finished tied for third in the NHL scoring race with 56 points and he has torched the Islanders throughout his career, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 55 assists against the Islanders, the most points has against any team.
New York coach Jack Capuano thinks even without Crosby the star-laden Penguins remain one of the most dangerous teams in the league. In addition to reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins added future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla and veterans Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow and Doug Murray at the trade deadline.
“Obviously again they’ve got a lot of depth,” Capuano said.
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