In five games back, Sidney Crosby has ‘played some awesome hockey’

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will face the arch-rival Capitals tonight for the first time since suffering a concussion in January.

Crosby has skated in five games since returning to Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh from a 10-month layoff with a concussion. In those contests, he’s got two goals, nine assists and a plus-minus rating of plus-7.

“I’m not surprised,” Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma said this morning after the morning skate at Verizon Center. “I think he’s played some awesome hockey. The way he’s prepared for months coming into playing these games has been at a high level. So I expected to see him be at that high level speed-wise and skill-wise.”

Crosby, meantime, said he’s still getting his timing back.

“I still think I can get better with timing and stuff like that,” he said. “I don’t expect to be there in five games. I expect to get better with each game.”

— Asked if he had given any thought to Winter Classic and the collision with former Capitals center David Steckel, Crosby said: “I haven’t thought about that at all. It’s always an intense game. They’ve got a new coach [so] they should be fired up and ready to go. Both teams bring out the best in one another and it should be another good one.”

— Movember is over. But Crosby was still sporting a ‘stache this morning. Must be the three-game points streak.

 “Decided to keep it,” he joked. “Couldn’t find a razor.”

More to come soon from the Pens’ skate.

More on tonight’s game:

Tell us your favorite Caps-Pens story
Preview: Caps’ new system will be put to the test
Tomas Vokoun will start tonight vs. Pittsburgh
Dale Hunter ready to be reintroduced to Sidney Crosby
Caps will face Crosby for first time since Winter Clasic

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