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Penguins' Crosby uncertain for Game 1

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby participates in practice

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby participates in practice in Canonsburg, Pa. (April 30, 2013) Credit: AP Photo Gene J. Puskar

PITTSBURGH - The last time Penguins captain Sidney Crosby appeared in a game was more than a month ago, and the opponent was the Islanders.

Crosby departed just 1:28 into the March 30 game at the Consol Energy Center, suffering a broken jaw on his first shift after being hit with a puck that deflected off teammate Brooks Orpik's stick.

Crosby missed the final 12 games of the regular season and his status for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night against the Islanders remains uncertain.

He was scheduled to meet with team doctors Tuesday in an effort to try and be cleared for the series opener.

The Penguins did not offer any update on how Crosby's meeting went with medical personnel. Coach Dan Bylsma would only offer that his lineup would be a game time-decision.

"I've been telling [the doctor] that I've felt pretty good for a while, but at the end of the day, I have to make sure things are healed and he's the one who knows best," Crosby said Tuesday after working with the fifth line, or spare line, at the Penguins' practice facility in nearby Canonsburg, Pa.

"As soon as he says the word, I'm in," said Crosby. "I'm not too worried about [the jaw] as long as he feels confident I can take a hit, I will feel confident as well. I'm not going to take any more time. If he says I can play, I'm gonna play."

Crosby was wearing a half shield when he got hit in the jaw, and needed dental work after losing several teeth.

He said he is getting more comfortable with the full facemask he's been wearing to protect his surgically-repaired jaw.

"It's getting better," he said. "It was tough the first few days, but the last few days, I think it's gotten a lot better. It shouldn't be a problem.

"I'll wear anything to play, whether it's a football helmet or whatever it is."

Crosby has missed 152 games since the 2007-08 season because of an assortment of injuries, ranging from an ankle injury to concussion symptoms, and now his jaw.

"What can I do?" Crosby said. "It's nothing I can control."

Crosby has registered an incredible 75 points (20 goals, 55 assists) in 41 career games against the Islanders, so obviously he wants to be on the ice for the series.

"We respect the Islanders," Crosby said. "They are in the playoffs. They've been playing good hockey down the stretch. Whether they're young or experienced, I think we're focused on what we've got to do and to start well.

"I think we want to send a message early and make sure that they know we're going to be playing a tough, physical game."

New York Sports