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Crosby Back at Practice for Penguins

Sidney Crosby was a full-scale participant in Friday’s practice for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not only was he on the ice, he was also taking full contact. That makes it appear that he will be ready to play the Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday. Don’t think for a second the Penguins’ training staff is taking this lightly. If they send Crosby back to play too soon and he re-injures himself, they’ll be looking for new jobs.

It’s probably not lost on Crosby, either. Another concussion so quickly could be the end of his career. If he does play, it’s because he’s healthy. Especially with the Penguins having a 3-1 lead.

Conor Sheary said he will be a game-time decision. He also received a concussion in Game 3 against the Capitals. But it was his teammate that gave it to him when he missed a Washington player and got him instead.

Washington’s big guys were absent once again in Game 4 and it’s becoming an annual pattern. When the team needs a lift, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom or Braden Holty haven’t given it to them. Another early exit could see some big changes in the offseason.

Several sportsbooks have odds on the game. Washington opened -200 and have been bet down to -165. The total has stayed at 5-over, moving from -120 to -135 on the over.

Saturday’s other game features the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators. The Senators won the first two games at home and were trounced both games in New York. The game is close to even, with different sportsbooks having each team as slight favorites. Erik Karlsson is listed as probable for the Senators and there’s no doubt they need him in the line-up. He left in the third period of Game 4 but has said he will play Saturday.

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