According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned to practice on Saturday after missing Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers. Crosby’s return to practice quickly after suffering a concussion in Game 5 was encouraging for Pittsburgh, but his fate for Game 7 on Sunday remains unknown.
On Wednesday, Crosby suffered a concussion early in the second period of Game 5, departing the game after being smacked in the face by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba while competing for puck control. Crosby left with the Penguins leading the game 2-0 – and the series 3-1 – and his side would lose both Games 5 and 6 to set up a winner-take-all Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Although Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will not commit to Crosby’s status for Sunday, Crosby is believed to be in “excellent spirits” and will travel to New York with the team.
“He’s in a good place,” said Sullivan of Crosby. “He’s doing everything he can to get himself recovered and ready as soon as possible. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes.”
Having Crosby back would be a huge boost for the Penguins, as he has been a dominant force in their playoff series against the Rangers. This season, Crosby has two goals and nine points in four and a half games. He’s also been a key counter to the Rangers’ scoring trio of Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Frank Vatrano, with the Penguins outscoring them 4-0 in five-on-five action while Crosby is on the ice.
Furthermore, Crosby is the type of player that thrives in Game 7 situations. Crosby has two goals and three helpers in seven career Game 7s.