Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup Tuesday vs. the Minnesota Wild.
Crosby missed the last 28 games after undergoing core muscle surgery in mid-November. Crosby travelled on the Penguins’ recent road-trip to skate with the team but did not play. On Tuesday, he was back on the top line with Jared McCann and Dominik Simon on his wings.
The Penguins were shockingly good while Crosby was sidelined, ranking first in the NHL in Points% (.714), going 18-6-4 while averaging the sixth-most goals for (3.36) and ninth least goals against (2.79). Their power-play was actually better without Crosby, going from 12.5 percent with him to 22.8 percent without him, which was 10th in the league over that span. That’s probably more of an anomaly than anything, so he’ll unsurprisingly be back on the top PP unit with Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust.
Crosby had a bit of slow start to the year, likely due to his nagging sports hernia. A slow-start for Crosby is a point-per-game pace, recording 17 points (5G / 12A) in 17 games. He was limited by a 10.9 SH% and 9.5 on-ice SH%, both are among his career-lows.