Pens won’t say if Crosby will rest this weekend; Malkin nearing return

Pens won't say if Crosby will rest this weekend

TORONTO — The Pittsburgh Penguins have two games left in the regular season with nothing on the line, and whether Sidney Crosby will play in one or both remains a mystery.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan declined to say whether the team planned to rest their captain either against the desperate Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday or against the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

“We have a game-plan that we’ve sketched out and we’ll take each game as it comes,” Sullivan said with a smile following a limited practice on Friday afternoon.

The Penguins have already sealed up home-ice advantage in a first round playoff series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Crosby seems to have locked up his second Rocket Richard trophy. His 43 goals in only 74 games well in front of Auston Matthews, Nikita Kucherov and the suspended Brad Marchand.

Resting the 29-year-old seems to make a lot of sense, especially for a team that’s been battered by injuries as it chases a second straight Stanley Cup.

Conversely, Saturday’s game means everything to the Leafs, who need two points in their final two games to clinch a first playoff berth since 2013.

Even if Crosby sits — probably less likely on Saturday night than Sunday — there’s a chance Toronto might have to face Evgeni Malkin. The Russian star, who’s missed the last 11 games with an upper body injury, skated with a limited group of teammates at practice and expressed hope of getting in over the weekend.

“I feel normal,” Malkin said of playing Saturday. “Why not?”

Malkin, who has 72 points in 62 games this season, noted that he’d yet to take contact, but was feeling better and better each day. 

“We’ll see how it goes,” Sullivan said. “We’re taking it each day at a time.”

Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Saanich police investigating sexual assault in broad daylight

Social media lit up with accusations incident took place at Regina Park tent city

Swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Oak Bay man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Opposing views clash over removal of Royal Oak Golf Course from ALR

Golf course not ideal for farming, says report

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Most Read