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WHEW! Crosby Skates Solo, Then Returns to Practice

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Sidney Crosby: Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby: Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby skated on his own again Friday morning, but unlike the last two days, this story has a happy ending for the Penguins. After skating privately on the side rink at the UPMC Lemieux Complex, Crosby was grinning ear to ear as he then joined his teammates as a full participant at practice.

Crisis averted.

Crosby missed the last five days of team practices and scrimmages after he left the first scrimmage last Saturday morning. In that scrimmage, Crosby grabbed his stick and walked to the locker room early in the second period.

Due to NHL regulations in Phase 3 training camps and Phase 4 games, coaches cannot comment on injuries, but Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed after the Thursday night scrimmage Crosby was working on his own.

“He skated on his own this morning. There will be no further comment,” Sullivan conceded.

Crosby had a big grin, as evidenced by a photo from NHL.com writer Wes Crosby, and the players stopped to tap their sticks for their captain, too.

“The boys thought he was a little late for practice,” Jared McCann joked. “But he was just on the other side working with our skills coach. So we let him know we were happy to have him back.”

Crosby scored 47 points (16g, 31a) in just 41 games this season, though he missed 28 games due to a sports hernia, which required core muscle surgery. Crosby gritted his teeth through the first month of the season while fellow top center Evgeni Malkin was out. However, after Malkin returned from a month-long absence, it was Crosby’s turn to leave the lineup.

Sidney Crosby resumed skating on his customary top-line perch with Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary.

Malkin has been skating with Jason Zucker, whom the Penguins acquired in advance of the NHL trade deadline, and Bryan Rust, who had a career year with 27 goals.

Penguins Lines:

Guentzel – Crosby – Sheary

Zucker – Malkin – Rust

Marleau – McCann – Hornqvist

Aston-Reese – Blueger – Tanev

Defense

Dumoulin – Letang

Pettersson – Marino

Johnson – Schultz

Murray

Jarry

The Penguins will break camp this weekend and travel to the NHL bubble city in Toronto to prepare for their exhibition game against the Philadelphia Flyers on July 28. Game 1 of the Qualifying Round against Montreal Canadiens.

PHN will update the story after practice.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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