Crosby scores twice in triumphant NHL return

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Crosby scores twice in triumphant NHL return

PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby scored two goals in his first National Hockey League game since suffering a concussion on Jan. 5, sparking Pittsburgh past the New York Islanders 5-0 on Monday.

The 24-year-old Canadian superstar center netted the opening goal 5:24 into the game, scored the final goal unassisted just 2:06 into the third period and added two assists to delight a sellout crowd that gave him standing ovations.

“It’s so nice to be back out there,” Crosby said. “It’s a bonus that we won. I was just so happy to be out there.”

Crosby, who was on the ice for the first and last shifts of the game, has spent the past 10 1/2 months recovering from such symptoms as migraine headaches and fogginess that made driving and watching television difficult.

“The summer was a little tougher than I thought it was going to be,” Crosby said. “That’s the nature of these things. You have to be careful with them. But I’m glad to be back.”

Crosby scored the golden goal for Canada at last year’s Vancouver Winter Olympics, his overtime tally lifting the hosts over the United States in the final. The Penguins’ captain was leading the NHL in scoring last season when he was hit in the head by David Steckel against Washington on Jan. 1 and slammed headfirst into the boards by Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman four days later. Crosby was sidelined for 320 days but made the most of his NHL return, winning 14 of 21 faceoffs and putting eight shots on goal while playing just under 16 minutes.

“I was feeling good,” Crosby said. “Last couple weeks were going pretty well. You’re just trying to get through each step and I was just ready to play.”

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