Sidney Crosby will be a game-time decision and winger Jason Zucker will return to the lineup Saturday against the Washington Capitals, according to coach Mike Sullivan.
UPDATE: Crosby and John Marino took warmups.
FURTHER UPDATE: According to the Penguins, Crosby and Marino are in the lineup and the lines look like this: Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust; Jason Zucker-Evgeni Malkin-Rickard Rakell; Evan Rodrigues-Jeff Carter-Kasperi Kapanen; Brian Boyle-Teddy Blueger-Danton Heinen.
Crosby, the team captain and leading scorer missed Thursday’s loss against the New York Rangers because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
Defenseman John Marino and forward Radim Zohorna, who also missed Thursday’s game for the same reason — and presumably the same illness — also are game-time decisions.
Winger Brock McGinn is not ready to return. “He’s continuing to progress through is rehab,” Sullivan said.
Tristan Jarry will start in goal.
Zucker came back from core muscle surgery, played one game but left that game with an injury — potentially related to the previous one. While things looked dire initally, Zucker returned to skating and then practice pretty quickly. He has missed just three games since his short-lived return.
Illness not related to the pandemic has been a problem for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin missed an earlier game against the Rangers, and three players missed a practice in the past week.
Crosby has 72 points in 59 games. Players labeled as a game-time decision usually play barring some sort of late setback. That means Crosby will likely get to be part of the long-time rivalry between the Penguins and Capitals, and the individual rivalry between him and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.