Sidney Crosby won't be participating in the Penguins' first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs when they take on the Islanders on Wednesday night at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center.
Although he was relatively vague in explaining his visit to the doctor from 24 hours earlier, Crosby said that his broken jaw is continuing to progress but that he simply wasn't given clearance
to absorb contact.
Crosby, incidentally, believes he is capable of playing now but said he respects the doctor's decision.
This will be the eighth career playoff game that Crosby has missed.
"Obviously I'm not in tonight," Crosby said.
He also commented that he isn't sure when he'll be able to play but hopes that his return could happen during this series
.The Penguins without Sid
It's Evgeni Malkin time, and everyone knows it. Even the Islanders.
Malkin has an interesting, undeniable history of stepping up his game when Crosby is out of the lineup. After producing a goal and two assists in the final regular-season game against Carolina, it appears that Malkin, who has been hindered all season by a shoulder injury, is close to 100 per cent health and ready to carry the load.
"It's what he does," said Islanders forward Frans Nielsen, who figures to draw the assignment of slowing Malkin down. "It's always been that way. When Crosby doesn't play, Malkin always raises his level of play. He likes to be the No. 1 guy. It's obvious that he likes being the No. 1 guy. He's better in those situations."Another big injury
The Penguins will also play without defenceman Brooks Orpik, perhaps their most respected locker room voice. Orpik is dealing with a lower-body injury and hopes that he will be able to participate at some point during the series.
He took part in the morning skate but is not ready for game action. He will be replaced by rugged defenceman Deryk Engelland, who will skate with Paul Martin.Islanders look loose
The Islanders realize that they are significant underdogs entering this series, and perhaps this helps their stress level. About 75 per cent of New York's roster has never played in an NHL playoff series before, but the mood in the Islanders' dressing room was one of ease.
"I just think we're excited about the opportunity," Islanders winger Michael Grabner said. "I've played in the playoffs before and I learned that it's special. You just have to enjoy it, enjoy the atmosphere."Isles in good shape
New York is not dealing with any significant injuries entering this series.Line and defence combinations (subject to change)Pittsburgh
Kunitz -- Malkin -- Neal
Dupuis -- Jokinen -- Iginla
Morrow -- Sutter -- Cooke
Glass -- Adams -- Bennett
Eaton -- Letang
Martin -- Engelland
Murray -- Niskanen
Goalie: FleuryNew York
Moulson -- Tavares -- Boyes
Bailey -- Nielsen -- Okposo
Grabner -- Aucoin -- McDonald
Martin -- Reasoner -- Cizikas
Hickey -- Visnovsky
MacDonald -- Hamonic
Streit -- Strait
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