July 4, 2020

Winnipeg
20° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

WEATHER ALERT

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Penguins' Crosby to return from 2-month absence against Wild

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) gets off a backhand pass with Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) defending during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain will be in the lineup on Tuesday night when Pittsburgh faces Minnesota. Crosby hasn't played since undergoing abdominal surgery on Nov. 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) gets off a backhand pass with Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) defending during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. The Pittsburgh Penguins captain will be in the lineup on Tuesday night when Pittsburgh faces Minnesota. Crosby hasn't played since undergoing abdominal surgery on Nov. 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Gene J. Puskar

PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby is back.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain will be in the lineup on Tuesday night when Pittsburgh faces Minnesota. Crosby hasn't played since undergoing abdominal surgery on Nov. 14. The Penguins have thrived in spite of the extended absence of the three-time Stanley Cup winner. Pittsburgh is 18-6-4 since Crosby's last appearance on Nov. 9, tied for the second-best mark in the league during that span.

“I don’t think it’s ever easy to be patient when you’re watching," Crosby said. "I mean you want to play. But like I said, it’s been great to see (the results) and we’ve got to continue to do the same thing.”

Crosby had been dealing with a core injury before aggravating it against Chicago on Nov. 9. He had five goals and 12 assists in 17 games with Pittsburgh before going on injured reserve. The 28 games he missed was his longest absence since he was limited to 22 games during the 2011-12 season while dealing with concussion-like symptoms.

The team initially estimated Crosby would miss at least six weeks. When he pulls on his familiar No. 87 sweater Tuesday night, it will be nearly nine weeks since his surgery.

“It’s a slow process,” said Crosby, adding “Guys who have been injured, and we have a lot of them this year, know what that’s like, you’re just happy to get back.”

Injuries have decimated the Penguins from the beginning of the season. The list of high-profile players who have missed extended time include Crosby, centre Evgeni Malkin, All-Star defenceman Kris Letang, All-Star forward Jake Guentzel, defenceman Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin and centre Nick Bjugstad.

Yet Pittsburgh has kept right on rolling despite the steady stream of high-profile players to the injured reserve. The Penguins head into Tuesday night 7-1-1 in their last nine games to rise to second place behind Washington in the competitive Metropolitan Division. The team has done it by taking a more responsible defensive approach. The Penguins are seventh in the league in goals against after finishing 14th in the category a year ago, when they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders.

“I think the way this team has bought in to playing on both sides of the puck has certainly given us a lot of evidence that if we play the game a certain way we’re a pretty competitive team. We can play against anyone regardless of who is in the lineup," Sullivan said.

For the first time in more than two months, that lineup will include Crosby, who will likely be paired with Jared McCann and Dominik Simon. Crosby isn't concerned about his return disrupting the identity the club has forged while watching from the press box.

“I don’t like to get too fancy out there. So I like to think the work ethic and the simple things, the things that have made us successful, I don’t intend on changing that,” Crosby said. "I just want to come in and hopefully bring some energy and make sure I’m doing my part.”


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us