CANONSBURG, Pa. – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby practiced Monday but his status remains uncertain for Wednesday’s playoff opener against the New York Islanders.
Crosby hasn’t played since breaking his jaw a month ago, missing Pittsburgh’s final 12 games of the regular season. He underwent dental procedures and was cleared to return to noncontact drills last week. Crosby said he’ll see doctors again Tuesday and won’t play until he is given clearance.
The Penguins still thrived in his absence, going 8-4 without their captain while locking up the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Crosby still finished tied for third in the NHL in scoring despite missing a quarter of the season. He had 15 goals and 41 assists in 36 games.
CANUCKS: Goaltender Cory Schneider returned to practice, but his status for the first game against the San Jose Sharks remained uncertain.
Schneider was injured April 22 in a win over Chicago, when he played the whole game without any apparent discomfort. He had not practiced with the team since then and missed Vancouver’s final two regular-season games, but worked out briefly with an assistant coach Sunday.
DRAFT LOTTERY: The Colorado Avalanche won the NHL draft lottery.
The Florida Panthers own the second pick for June’s draft and the Tampa Bay Lightning have the third selection.
Colorado had an 18.8 percent chance of winning Monday’s lottery after finishing the regular season with a 16-25-7 record, worst in the Western Conference.
The Panthers, who finished last in the NHL with a 15-27-6 mark, had the best odds of winning the lottery at 25 percent but had to settle for the No. 2 pick.
Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones is the No. 1 ranked North American skater according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.
Jones is the son of a former NBA player, Popeye Jones.
The lottery adopted a different format this year, with all of the 14 non-playoff teams having a shot at the first overall pick. The remaining 13 teams will be slotted in reverse order of their regular-season points.