PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is returning, and will play in game 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs against the NY Islanders.

The Penguins made the announcement Friday morning.

“I’m cleared to play tonight,” Crosby said. “I’m excited to get back in there and play in the playoffs.

Sid said he met with a doctor earlier in the week, and at that time the doctor wasn’t ready to clear him to play.

“(The doctor) was around and I wasn’t sure if he would give me the OK or even consider it. I’m happy that he did and happy to be back. He’s comfortable with me getting hit at this point. That’s the biggest thing. He has to be comfortable putting me out there. To hear him say that allows me to be comfortable, too.”

Crosby, skated with his usual linemates Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis at Friday’s morning skate. He also worked with the team’s top power-play unit.

Dupuis said he’s happy to have their leader back, and he’s looking forward to seeing his smile, although “it may not be as pretty as it was before.”

The Penguins didn’t need Crosby’s help on Wednesday night, as they beat up on the Islanders 5-0.

The Penguins, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, beat Evgeni Nabokov four times in the game’s first 22 minutes, including goals by Letang and Dupuis 32 seconds apart early in the second period to send Nabokov to the bench after he stopped just 11 shots.

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.

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.

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