Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is returning for Wednesday's home game against the Dallas Stars after missing a week with an upper-body injury, via the team's official Twitter account.
Sidney Crosby has confirmed that he will play tonight vs. Dallas. pic.twitter.com/ByEemAkoMd— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 21, 2018
The 31-year-old Crosby has eight goals and 11 assists in 16 games on the season, but the Penguins have struggled mightily this season. Entering play on Wednesday, they sit at a ghastly 7-8-4, having lost four in a row and nine of their last 10 games.
Crosby will add a big boost to a Pittsburgh offense that has dried up over the past three weeks. General manager Jim Rutherford traded away speedy winger and reliable penalty killer Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for Tanner Pearson, emphasizing that he's running out of patience and will make more moves if necessary.
It's possible that when Crosby takes to the ice on Wednesday, he'll play alongside Pearson, who has just three points in 20 games this season. If Crosby's track record is an indication of anything, he'll turn Pearson into a reliable top-six forward and 20-goal scorer.
The Penguins sit last in the Eastern Conference right now, but they're only five points behind the Washington Capitals for the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. There is plenty of time for a turnaround in the Steel City.
Pittsburgh plays three games over the next four nights, so Crosby will have little time to ease his way back into the lineup. The Penguins simply need him to help the team regain its once dominant scoring form.
What This Means
Getting Crosby back is imperative for the Penguins, given their place at the bottom of the standings right now. Secondary scoring has been a major problem in Pittsburgh this season, so Crosby's absence was felt greatly over the past week.
But with No. 87 back, the Penguins should regain their scoring touch and get right back into the playoff picture.