After missing 13 consecutive games due to a fractured jaw, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will return against the New York Islanders for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday night.
Crosby required medical clearance to return to game action and has apparently received it.
Considering how handily the Penguins defeated the Islanders in Game 1, this could make things a bit more frustrating for New York. Crosby is Pittsburgh's top centerman and even without him in the lineup, the team still registered five unanswered goals in Game 1.
Despite the teams being even in shots on goal (26 apiece) and the Islanders winning more faceoffs (52 percent), Pittsburgh managed to run away with the contest.
1. How will Sidney Crosby perform in his return?
This isn't the first time Crosby has returned from a major injury against the Islanders. In November of 2011, Crosby returned from a concussion and recorded four points (two goals, two assists). In practice the last two days, Crosby played on the first line with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, in addition to playing on the first power play unit.
Will he manage to make a notable contribution in his return?
2. Will John Tavares be more effective in Game 2?
Tavares was a non-factor in Game 1. Registering a total of 17:03 of ice time, Tavares did not record a single shot on goal. In fact, the few noteworthy moments in the opening game revolved around the Penguins roughing him up. Will he manage to be more involved in Game 2?
3. How will Evgeni Nabokov rebound?
Nabokov was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots. In addition, he took a shot off the face, which some believed might have injured him. Will he be sharper in Game 2? Or will the Penguins offense prove just as potent as their first meeting?