Pittsburgh Penguins (21-16-4, 46 pts) @ Washington Capitals (21-17-2, 44 pts)
CROSBY TO BEGIN SKATING: Head coach Dan Bylsma announced at his 5:30 pre-game media session that Sidney Crosby will join the team in Washington tonight and begin skating on his own in Florida this week. Bylsma yesterday indicated that Crosby was taking part in light exercise and today didn’t provide much of an update on Crosby’s health. “I’m not sure what’s fair to say,” Bylsma said, via the Tribune-Review. “Obviously he has been working out and having light exercises in the weight room and on the bike. We’ll certainly be glad to see him on the ice.”
The last known time that Crosby skated was in practice on Dec 7th. To take a step back on the timeline, Crosby took an impact test on Dec 6 and according to the team, he passed the test. It was revealed about a week later that Crosby was dealing with concussion like symptoms, believed to be headaches. The team has not answered any questions posed to them whether another impact test has happened since Dec 6th when Crosby went to visit Dr. Micky Collins.
DESPRES HAS GRADE 1 MCL SPRAIN: Defenseman Simon Despres has been placed on injured reserve and has a grade 1 MCL sprain that will sidelined him for 2-4 weeks, Bylsma announced.
JEFFREY BACK IN LINEUP: Forward Dustin Jeffrey makes his return to the lineup and will skate on the second line with Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy. The addition of Jeffrey could push Eric Tangradi out of the lineup. When recalled, the plan was for Tangradi to possibly have a 2-3 weeks stay due to the assumption that Neal had a broken foot, but a wrench was thrown in those plans when it was revealed that all Neal had was a bone bruise.
MARTIN BACK FROM ILLNESS: Paul Martin traveled with the team to Washington and is expected to play after not playing last night due to the flu.
Goaltender: Tomas Vokoun