Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan raised eyebrows Monday when he said that superstar Sidney Crosby was "a whole lot closer" to returning to the lineup and making his 2021-22 NHL season debut as he continues to recover after undergoing wrist surgery on Sept. 8.
Despite that positive update, the Penguins have since confirmed Crosby won't play in Tuesday's matchup against the 2-3-1 Tampa Bay Lightning. That didn't, however, stop the 34-year-old from having some fun on the ice earlier in the day.
Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring during the #Pens optional skate. As in, he stood with his arms in the air for over 10 seconds waiting for others to come to him as if he scored in a game.— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) October 26, 2021
The Penguins have gone 3-0-2 without their captain but have encountered multiple other setbacks. Forward Jeff Carter tested positive for COVID-19, goaltender Tristan Jarry was placed in the NHL's coronavirus-related protocol and defenseman Kris Letang also tested positive for the virus.
Jarry is starting Tuesday, and Sullivan spoke of the other two Tuesday afternoon.
Coach Sullivan on Carter and Letang: "Carts continues to be asymptomatic. Tanger is symptomatic. They're going through the COVID protocol. I don't know the specifics of it; our medical staff does. It's my understanding that Carts comes out of it at the end of the week."— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 26, 2021
All the Penguins are vaccinated.— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) October 26, 2021
Per ESPN stats, Jarry is 3-0-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in four starts this season.
Pittsburgh hosts the Calgary Flames Thursday night.