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Big update on Sidney Crosby.

Huge update for the Penguins.

Jonathan Larrivee

The Pittsburgh Penguins got some welcomed news when they hit the ice on Saturday in preparation for the 7th and final game of their opening round Stanley Cup playoff series against the New York Rangers.

Penguins insider Rob Rossi reports that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was back on the ice on Saturday, practicing with his teammates, a full day ahead of the Penguins' deciding game against the Rangers. That will be very welcomed news for a Penguins team that was forced to compete in Game 6 without their captain, and who knows how that game would have played out with a player the caliber of Sidney Crosby on the ice, tipping the scales further in favor of the Penguins.

Crosby was of course knocked out of Game 5 in this series after he was hit by what appears to have been the elbow of New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. The hit would force Crosby out of the game and, as we now know, would also keep him out of Game 6 but the Penguins are no doubt hopeful that their captain will be available to them for the most pivotal game of the series, Game 7.

The fact that Crosby was on the ice for practice today is a very good sign for the Penguins but it is not a guarantee that Crosby will be cleared to play come tomorrow. Following the hit from Trouba in Game 5, Crosby would skate ahead of Game 6 on Friday but was eventually ruled out of that game in spite of the fact that he had done so. Practicing with his teammates is an additional step in the right direction for both Crosby and the Penguins, but whether or not that will result in him being cleared to be play on Sunday still remains to be seen.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan confirmed as much:

"He's in good spirits," said Sullivan on Saturday. "He's in a good place. He's doing his very best to get himself back and ready as quickly as he can. We'll see how that process goes."

Sullivan was also asked, point blank, whether or not either starting goaltender Tristan Jarry, injured forward Rickard Rakell, or the aforementioned Sidney Crosby could be game time decisions ahead of Game 7, the Penguins bench boss refused to show his hand.

"We'll take each day as it comes," said Sullivan when asked about his three injured players. "I'm not going to speculate at this point. They're obviously on the ice, that's encouraging. They're making progress."

Crosby has been excellent for the Penguins through his first 5 games of these Stanley Cup playoffs, he has 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points, and there is simply no replacing him when he is injured and out of the lineup.

"I think any time he's on the ice, I think it's good for our team, it's good for our players, it's good for our morale," said Sullivan of his captain. "That's certainly a boost for our guys."

Now we wait to find out whether or not he will be giving his team that boost in Game 7.

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