Crosby to play tonight for Penguins against Islanders
May 3, 2013 11:15 PM
Sidney Crosby in full headgear at the Iceoplex arena in Southpointe during his first team practice since his jaw injury.
Sidney Crosby is helped from the ice March 30 by head athletic trainer Chris Stewart.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby does a lap around the Southpointe Iceoplex.
By Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Center Sidney Crosby will be in the Penguins' lineup tonight when they face the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center in Game 2 of their opening-round playoff series.
He confirmed that after the Penguins' game-day skate today.
"I feel good," Crosby said. "I'm cleared to play tonight. I'm excited to get back in there and play in the playoffs. I think it's going to take a bit of an adjustment period. I'm stepping into the playoffs after this much time. That being said, this is when you want to play."
He missed the past 13 games, including the Penguins' 5-0 victory in Game 1, because of a fractured jaw. He received medical clearance to play Thursday afternoon.
It's believed Crosby got clearance from surgeon Bernard Costello.
"He just said he was comfortable with me getting hit at this point," Crosby said. "That's the biggest thing. I think mentally I feel confident in going out there to play a playoff game. When the doctor says you can play, that gives you a lot of confidence that you can play."
Crosby skated with his usual linemates, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, during practice Thursday and was back with them at the game-day skate this morning, when he also worked with the No. 1 power-play unit.
He has been out since Islanders forward Brad Boyes inadvertently deflected a Brooks Orpik slap shot into his face March 30, breaking his jaw and knocking out an unspecified number of teeth.
Crosby had surgery to repair his jaw and has had extensive dental work with more to come.
He will wear a protective guard attached to his helmet.