Penguins captain Sidney Crosby to make season debut Saturday after wrist surgery

October 30, 2021
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby to make season debut Saturday after wrist surgery

Sidney Crosby is back.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star will make his season debut Saturday when the Penguins host New Jersey at 7 p.m. ET.

Crosby, 34, underwent left wrist surgery on Sept. 8 and estimated he would miss “at least” six weeks. Saturday night’s game is a little over seven weeks since the procedure.

The Penguins will also get back center Jeff Carter, who has been out for over a week after testing positive for COVID-19. Carter said he was asymptomatic during his quarantine, and he returned to practice on Friday.

“I think it goes without saying, they offer us so much on both sides of the puck,” Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan said of Crosby and Carter. “We’re just a much better hockey team when they’re in our lineup. So, we’re excited to have them back in the lineup.”

Crosby will return to his familiar spot as Pittsburgh’s first-line centre. Carter, who had filled in on the top line during Crosby’s absence, will anchor the second line with Evgeni Malkin out until at least Thanksgiving while recovering from knee surgery in June.

Winless in 2 at home

“It has a ripple effect on our whole team,” Sullivan said. “Both these guys are real good players. It’s nice to get some of these guys starting to come back into our lineup.”

The Penguins are off to a 3-2-2 start without Crosby, though the significance of his absence has been highlighted this week. Pittsburgh has dropped two straight at home to Tampa Bay and Calgary, mustering just one goal in the process.

Crosby, 34, has recorded 1,325 points (486 goals, 839 assists) in 1,039 NHL regular-season games since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Penguins in 2005. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Hart Trophy recipient as the league’s most valuable player.

Carter, 36, has a goal and four points in four games this season.

He has 400 goals and 766 points in 1,098 NHL contests with the Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Penguins.

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