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It's as if Crosby never left

The Sports Xchange
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Penguins center Sidney Crosby said it will probably take him awhile to get truly comfortable again on the ice and to feel as if his timing is back to normal.

The rest of the NHL should consider itself frightened.

Crosby, playing in his first game since sustaining a concussion on Jan. 5, put on a remarkable show at Consol Energy Center on Monday. He scored two goals, assisted on two others, fired eight shots on net and easily could have had six or seven points in the Penguins' 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders.

Crosby scored a highlight-reel goal on his second shift of the game, blowing past three Islanders before ripping a backhand shot under the crossbar. He set up defenseman Brooks Orpik's goal later in the first period.

Later adding an assist on center Evgeni Malkin's goal and scoring his second goal of the night in the third period, Crosby gave everyone a stunning reminder of how dominant he was last season. In his first 12 minutes of ice time in a year, Crosby scored four points. His chief rival, Washington's Alex Ovechkin, has scored only 15 points in 19 games.

It seems that in one game, Crosby has already clearly established that he remains the world's greatest hockey player. His speed, strength, shot and precise passing were all on display against the Islanders, who were simply helpless to stop him.

Many of the Penguins actually said they didn't expect Crosby to be rusty because he has been so terrific in recent practice sessions. He proved them right.

The Penguins next play on Wednesday at home against St. Louis.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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