The Pittsburgh Penguins will have their superstar captain Sidney Crosby back in the lineup tonight for game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup against the New York Islanders.
Crosby has been out since March 30 when he suffered a broken jaw from an errant slap shot that struck him in the face. After missing the entire month of April and multiple dental procedures later, Crosby will return to the ice with a protective shield designed to keep his jaw protected.
The Penguins did not need Crosby in the series opener against the Islanders when they cruised to a 5-0 victory. Truth be told the Penguins rolled through April without their captain, going 8-3 without him and securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
At the time of the injury Crosby was leading the league in scoring with 56 points. His lead was so large that he still finished third in scoring despite not playing in the month of April.
His name is rightfully being included in the Hart Trophy conversation for league MVP, although many feel he’ll be nominated but won’t win.
For the Islanders, the task of pulling off the monumental upset just became more difficult. The Penguins already boast a deep lineup and now they have the greatest player in the game returning to slide into the top line. If the Isles thought they were in for a test without Crosby, the workload just doubled.