“Yeah, I’m playing tonight,” Sidney Crosby didn’t waste time as he addressed a hoard of reporters waiting at his locker stall Tuesday morning.
For the second consecutive Penguins practice or morning skate, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Crosby was a full participant. Tuesday morning, Crosby began the morning with line rushes. The first person on his left-wing was Jared McCann, but on his right-wing was Dominik Simon, not Patric Hornqvist.
Saturday, Crosby took line rushes with a combination of McCann and Simon on the left side with Hornqvist on the right.
Crosby is still unconfirmed for the game Tuesday night. PHN will update the story after the morning skate when head coach Mike Sullivan addresses the media. Crosby has missed 28 games since he left the Nov. 9 game against the Chicago Blackhawks and had core muscle surgery days later.
The Penguins have won 18 of the 28 games Crosby missed (18-6-4) and earned points in four additional games. As of their win Sunday, no team in the NHL had more points in that span.
In another indication that Crosby will play Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild at PPG Paints Arena, the Penguins re-assigned forward Joseph Blandisi to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The move presumably opens a roster spot for Crosby to be activated and be in the lineup.
Blandisi has five points (2g, 3a) in 21 games and has been shuffled through waivers as the Penguins have dealt with a continuous string of injuries and returns.
The Penguins morning rushes:
In addition to line rushes, the Penguins also installed Crosby on the top power-play unit with defenseman Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, and Bryan Rust.
The band is almost back together.
Penguins goalie Matt Murray faced the top-power play in the home net, but that has become customary and not an indicator of the starting goalie.
PHN will update the story throughout the morning.