Sidney Crosby to return to Penguins lineup on Thursday

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Sidney Crosby will return to the ice on Thursday after another long absence.(Getty)
Thursday's Penguins-Rangers game was already looking like a big night given each team's place in the standings, with New York holding on to a four-point lead for the top spot in the conference.

And now it appears that it's going to be even bigger.

The Penguins announced on Tuesday that their captain, Sidney Crosby, is expected to return to the lineup for the first time since since December 5. The NBC Sports Network announced later on Tuesday afternoon that it will broadcast the game at 7 p.m. EST from Madison Square Garden.

According to Josh Yohe of the Tribune Review Crosby is expected to play on a line between Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy , which is a bit of a surprise. Then again, Crosby is probably going to produce no matter who he plays with, so why mess with what's working on Pittsburgh's other two lines with Evgeni Malkin centering James Neal and Chris Kunitz , and Jordan Staal playing on a line with Pascal Dupuis and Steve Sullivan .

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