Crosby to return against Rangers

Posted: March 14, 2012

Sid the Kid is back. Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins star, plans to play against the New York Rangers on Thursday, his first game in more than three months following a second lengthy bout with concussion-like symptoms.

On Tuesday, the 24-year-old center worked out with teammates and got bumped around enough that he feels prepared for the grind of the final month of the regular season and the playoffs.

"I'm just trying to make sure I progress and remain symptom-free," he said. "Everything's gone really well."

His arrival further bolsters hockey's hottest team. The Penguins have won nine straight and closed to within striking distance of the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers. Coach Dan Bylsma is planning to ease his captain back into the rotation. He will play on the third line with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy while being limited to about 15 minutes against the Rangers.

Center Evgeni Malkin leads the league with 84 points and carried the team on his back in mid-January after a six-game slide threw the Penguins into disarray. The Russian is in the race for the Hart Trophy and his numbers this season are similar to Crosby's at his peak.

Rangers down Hurricanes

Brad Richards scored twice and Martin Biron, a last-minute replacement for Henrik Lundqvist, made 27 saves as the New York Rangers beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, 4-2, on Tuesday.

Caps storm back for win

The visiting Washington Capitals finished off a dramatic three-goal comeback in a 5-4 shootout win over the New York Islanders. Washington trailed 4-1 in the second period before Alex Ovechkin scored in the final minute. Dmitry Orlov scored 1:51 into the third, and Ovechkin tied it at 10:15.

Rangers' Avery retiring

The New York Rangers' Sean Avery is done with hockey. Avery, 31, speaking on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live on Monday night, said his 10-year career was over. "I am officially retired," Avery responded to a question during the show's online segment.

- Inquirer wire services