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Sidney Crosby Has Active First Period In Return Vs. Islanders

Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said before Pittsburgh's game against the Islanders on Monday night at the Consol Energy Center that he only expected captain Sidney Crosby to play about 12 minutes in his return from a head injury suffered last January. After one period, however, he's on pace to well exceed that.

Crosby registered 7:10 of ice time in the opening period. He also notched a goal on four shots and assisted on Brooks Orpik's goal late in the period in his seven shifts while winning 71% of his faceoffs. At this rate, Crosby will play well more than 21 minutes, though that pace could be slowed if Pittsburgh continues to build on its two-goal lead. His ice time will certainly be something to keep an eye on either way, however.

"It's good to have him back," Orpik told ROOT Sports' Dan Potash during the first intermission, in what might be the understatement of the season for the Penguins.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for updates.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.