Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby Out For Playoff Opener

Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Sidney Crosby hasn’t played in a game in 32 days and he will now have to wait a little longer. Crosby didn’t receive clearance for the playoff opener against the New York Islanders after visiting with a doctor on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old took a puck to the face in a game against the Islanders on March 30th and immediately went into surgery later that day. After it was all said and done, Crosby had dental work and surgery to fix his broken jaw.

The injury forced him out of the Penguins’ lineup for the rest of the regular season and his return is still up in the air as Pittsburgh’s quest begins for the Stanley Cup. The Penguins last won the Cup in 2009 and haven’t made it out of the quarterfinals since 2010.

Crosby’s presence on the ice would create more offensive chances for the Penguins but there is no timetable in place for his return. Before the injury, Crosby led the NHL in points and assists while positioning the Penguins atop the Eastern Conference.

According to Shawn Roarke of NHL.com, the jaw looked good and there were no setbacks though the doctor wasn’t ready to give him clearance to play. Crosby participated in the Penguins’ morning skate while wearing a mouth guard and a black jersey that practically means, “don’t touch me.”

The Islanders dropped the last three games of the season and fell to eighth place as the New York Rangers went on a run and climbed the standings. They now match-up with the best team in the conference though Crosby won’t see the ice in Game 1.

The Islanders start on the road with two games in Pittsburgh, which might not be a bad thing. They finished with a better road record this season and never beat the Penguins at home.

The Penguins beat the Islanders in every meeting outside of a 4-1 loss at home in January. Pittsburgh is favored to win their first round series against the Islanders, even without Crosby.

Will Sidney Crosby return to the Penguins before the end of the first round?

[Image via Michael Miller]

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