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Sidney Crosby Activated from NHL's COVID-19 List Ahead of Penguins vs. Flyers

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 4, 2021

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87)reacts during a break in action against the New York Islanders during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was activated off the COVID-19 list Thursday, two days after entering the league's protocol, the team announced.  

He's available to play in tonight's matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers

Seth Rorabaugh @SethRorabaugh

Welcome back Sidney Crosby and Todd Reirden (Anthony Angello and Josh Currie too): https://t.co/dMdbDpGXvA

Being placed on the COVID-19 list does not mean a player has tested positive for the virus. The NHL mandates players or coaches be placed in the league's protocol for an unconfirmed positive test, symptoms consistent with the coronavirus or interactions with high-risk close contacts. 

Pittsburgh (12-8-1, 25 points) defeated Philadelphia (11-5-3, 25 points) on Tuesday, 5-2, without Crosby available. 

The two teams are currently battling for fourth place in the East and the division's final playoff spot. Having Crosby back in the lineup certainly helps the Pens. Through 20 games this year, the center has seven goals and 11 assists (18 points), leaving him tied with Jake Guentzel for the team lead in both categories. 

It's unclear if Crosby will re-enter the lineup Thursday after he was held out of practice the last two days. 

"He's an influential player for us in so many different areas," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters Tuesday. "He's not an easy guy to replace by any stretch, but we have been through this experience in the past and found ways to have success. It should provide opportunities for others to step up."

The team won't have to worry about replacing Crosby much longer, either way. 

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Now off the COVID-19 list, the captain should be back in the lineup sooner than later.

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