Penguins captain Sidney Crosby could be back in the lineup when Pittsburgh opens the playoffs next week, according to a report in the Post-Gazette.
Crosby, who has not played since his jaw was fractured by a deflected shot March 30, is expected to seek medical clearance today or Friday to resume playing.
If that’s given, he would not return to the lineup for the Penguins’ game at New Jersey tonight or the regular-season finale Saturday against Carolina at Consol Energy Center, but dressing for Game 1 of the playoffs is not out of the question at this point.
Although the playoff schedule won’t be released for several days, the Penguins will open at home, almost certainly on Wednesday.
In addition to undergoing the examination to determine how well his jaw is healing, Crosby could be facing extensive dental work in the next few days.
With 56 points in 36 games, Crosby was the runaway leading candidate to win the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy before he was injured.