Sidney Crosby will not play for the Penguins Thursday against the Lightning
The thinking is Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby, who hasn't played since January because of post-concussion syndrome, will return to the lineup when his team plays at home. And it is certain he will not play Thursday against the Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Not that the Lightning needed anything more to worry about facing the No. 1 team in the East, but players and coaches said they are rooting for Crosby to get back in the game.
"I think everyone in our league and everyone on our team wants to see him play," center Nate Thompson said. "I think he makes every team better when he's playing. It makes everyone better. It's better for the league. You want a guy like that. You hope the best for Sid. You don't want him sitting out like that. I just think everyone wants to see him play."
Added Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who coached Crosby in juniors and still is his friend: "It's extremely sad that such a good individual has to live through what he's living through, and knowing how much he loves the game. I can just imagine what his life is without being able to play."
Bigger picture, Boucher added, "These guys fill rinks and the NHL needs to fill rinks, so it's important he plays as soon as he can. Hopefully, it's sooner than later."
Other stuff from practice: Left wing Ryan Malone (upper body) practiced with a red non-contact jersey and Boucher said there is "minimal" chance he will play against the Penguins, his former team. ... Right wing Teddy Purcell missed practice with an illness. Boucher said Purcell also could miss the game. ... Dwayne Roloson will get the start in net. ... The new west entrance at the St. Pete Times Forum will be open for the game.