Crosby’s return will be on NBCSN

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Sidney Crosby announced after Tuesday’s practice that he plans to make his return on Thursday against the New York Rangers (7pm ET). If you want to watch the game, be sure to check out NBCSN.

The Penguins will ease him back into the lineup by putting him on the third line with Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke. However, Crosby got four points in his first return attempt on Nov. 21 while being limited to 15:54 minutes of ice time.

Even before Crosby announced his return, this was a big game for both teams. The New York Rangers lead the Eastern Conference, but the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t far behind. Both have a legitimate shot of finishing the 2011-12 campaign with the top seed in the Eastern Conference, while the other will be forced to settle for the fourth seed or worse.