NHL

Crosby sticks to routine in attending optional practice

The probable scratches at a sparsely attended Pittsburgh Penguins practice were joined by arguably the best hockey player in the world. Crosby took to the ice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex about 15 minutes before the scheduled 12:15 p.m. workout.

Bryan rust day-to-day

Pittsburgh Penguins' Chris Kunitz, left, Evgeni Malkin (71) and Sidney Crosby (87) wait to run a drill during hockey practice at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Penguins went on to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the San Jose Sharks Monday. (Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press)

The probable scratches at a sparsely attended Pittsburgh Penguins practice were joined by arguably the best hockey player in the world.

Hours after a dominant performance in the Penguins' 3-2 win over San Jose to open the Stanley Cup final, Sidney Crosby toiled alongside those that likely would not play in Game 2.

Crosby took to the ice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex about 15 minutes before the scheduled 12:15 p.m. workout. He lingered after the session, working on his shot in the slot and sharpening his skills in the faceoff circle.

It was an example of the leadership the Penguins speak about glowingly.

"I don't think he's as good as he is by accident," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "As long as I've been associated with this league I don't know that I've been around a player that has the same work ethic as Sid does as far as that insatiable appetite to try to just get better and be the best. And I think that's why he's as good as he is."

"It also sets a standard for our team when your captain and your top player brings a work ethic to the rink every day like he does," Sullivan added. "He certainly makes my job as the head coach a lot easier as far as demanding the type of standard that we need to be successful."

Captain leads by example

Crosby was all over the ice in nearly 21 minutes on Monday night. He set up the Penguins second goal with a rifled backhand pass that zipped across the ice to Conor Sheary, adding four shots and a 57 per cent success mark on the draw.

His line, which included Sheary and Swedish winger Patric Hornqvist, generated plenty of chances in the victory, with sustained time in the offensive zone.

Crosby said getting back on the ice after the in was in keeping with routine.

"It was nice to have the opportunity to go out there today because you work on a lot of stuff," he said.

Eric Fehr was the only other player who suited up in Game 1 to join Crosby at the practice.

"He's got the 'C' on his chest for a reason," Sheary said of Crosby. "When you see him doing things like that it makes you think you're not working hard enough."

Rust day-to-day after hit

Not on the ice Tuesday was Bryan Rust, injured in the third period of Game 1.

Rust, who scored the Penguins first goal on Monday, was hit in the head by the Sharks Patrick Marleau. Rust played one shift afterward before exiting the game for good and was deemed to be day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Sullivan had no further update on his status on Tuesday.

Marleau was not suspended for the play. The NHL's department of player safety explained on its Twitter account that Marleau did not "pick" the head nor elevate or extend his arm to hit Rust.

It was deemed that head contact was with Marleau's back.

"I really don't have an opinion on it," Sullivan said. "We're just going to play hockey. The league does their job. We're going to do our job. We're just going to play."

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