PITTSBURGH (AP) -Sidney Crosby, sidelined for 28 of the Pittsburgh Penguins' past 31 games with a sprained right ankle, went through an optional practice Wednesday without problems and plans to play Thursday night against the New York Islanders.
Crosby, who has missed the Penguins' past seven games, accompanied the team on a two-game road trip Monday and Tuesday, but did not play in either game. The Penguins lost to the Islanders 4-1 Monday and clinched a playoff spot after beating the Devils 2-0 Tuesday.
Crosby was hurt Jan. 18 against Tampa Bay and didn't play again until facing the Lightning in Tampa on March 4. He played three games that week, but hasn't played since scoring two goals against the Capitals on March 9.
``I feel strong. I feel a lot better than I did coming back the first time, a lot more confident,'' Crosby said Wednesday.
When he plays Thursday, Crosby will center a line that includes Marian Hossa, the forward acquired from Atlanta at the trading deadline last month. Hossa was out with a knee injury when Crosby made his brief return earlier this month.
Crosby, last season's NHL scoring champion, was leading the league again in scoring when he was hurt in January. He had two goals and two assists in his three games earlier this month, before the ankle began bothering him again.
Advertisement

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Los Angeles tasked with cooling off New York At 30-16-1, the streaking Rangers are climbing in the Metropolitan Division. The knowledge that Henrik Lundqvist once again appears unstoppable is merely icing...
Thumbnail Malkin, Pittsburgh tackle rising Carolina The Penguins are not without their problems as the NHL closes in on the All-Star break. Fortunately for Mike Sullivan’s bunch, it’s producing more than...
Thumbnail Sophomore sensation carries load for Oilers Not only does Edmonton boast the NHL’s leading scorer in Connor McDavid, but it features arguably the hottest netminder on the...
Thumbnail Crosby focused on resuscitating Pens Riding a nine-game winning streak, Washington is the hottest team in hockey right now. But will the league’s third-leading scorer throw a wrench into the Caps’...
Thumbnail Western Conference titans clash shortly John Gibson is acclimating quite nicely to his new role as the Ducks’ workhorse in net. Still, can the 23-year-old cool off the Blues tonight?

NHL Team Pages