Penguins Sidney Crosby makes return against Capitals

Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby takes the ice for a shift during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Penguins star Sidney Crosby returned for Pittsburgh’s game at Washington on Sunday night after he and three teammates were activated from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

Coach Mike Sullivan also rejoined the Penguins on Sunday after exiting COVID-19 protocol.

The Penguins activated Crosby and defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel. Pettersson and Ruhwedel actually exited COVID-19 protocol earlier this week and played in a game against Florida on Thursday, but they were unable to join the Penguins in Ottawa for Saturday night’s game because of Canada’s COVID-19 quarantine protocols.

“These guys all obviously feel strong enough and healthy enough that they’re comfortable playing,” Sullivan said a couple of hours before puck drop. “We’re excited to get them back in the lineup.”

Sullivan said he did not think he’d be able to coach at Montreal on Thursday night.

“I guess I got to do the math with our medical staff,” he said. “I don’t know the technicality, the exact date, but it’s my understanding that I won’t be able to coach in Montreal.”

Sullivan also said he wasn’t sure about the availability of Crosby and Dumoulin for that game.

Crosby and Dumoulin went into the protocol on Nov. 3. Sullivan joined them soon after that, part of an outbreak in which eight Penguins and their coach missed time. Former Capitals coach Todd Reirden filled in.

Sullivan said Dumoulin was able to do more than Crosby while out.

“His symptoms weren’t as severe as Sid’s,” Sullivan said. “Dumo had an opportunity to ride the bike a handful of times. Sid got better toward the end and was able to do a little bit of exercise.”

Crosby also missed the first seven games of the season following offseason surgery. He has played only one game in 2021-22.

The Penguins reassigned forward Drew O’Connor, defensemen P.O Joseph and Juuso Riikola and goaltender Louis Domingue to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

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Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

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