PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has not recovered sufficiently from a broken jaw and will miss at least the opening game of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup playoff quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
Crosby told reporters after the team’s morning skate Wednesday that doctors had not cleared him to play after his last checkup Tuesday afternoon, and he does not have a timetable for his return to action.
Crosby suffered a broken jaw after being struck by a deflected puck in a game against the Islanders on March 30. He has been practicing with the team while wearing a protective shield around his jaw and said earlier this week that he feels like he’s ready to play but needed a doctor’s approval.
“He said everything looks good,” Crosby told reports. “He just wasn’t prepared to clear me to play. Obviously I would have loved the chance to play tonight, but that’s not the way it is.”
Crosby, who was leading the NHL in scoring when he was injured, said he doesn’t know when he’ll next visit with medical staff. Game 2 of this series is set for Friday night in Pittsburgh.
“I’ll just wait and see,” Crosby said. “He didn’t give me a date. He’s waiting until he feels comfortable.”
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said that the team has been preparing for both possibilities and that Crosby’s absence doesn’t dramatically change the team’s preparation for the Islanders.
“We’ve played a lot of hockey without Sid in our lineup,” Bylsma said. “We’ve been playing and preparing for with or without Sidney Crosby in our lineup. If you’re talking about the impact of not having one of the best players in the game in your lineup, certainly you’d like to have him in there.
“But we’ve played the last segment of our season without him, and we’ve been practicing that way for this week, and we’re ready to go for Game 1.”